Fitbit confirms Pebble acquisition

Company buy Pebble’s intellectual property rights, but will not purchase its product portfolio of smartwatch devices
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Fitbit has confirmed it will buy Pebble’s intellectual property rights, but will not purchase its product portfolio of smartwatch devices in an undisclosed deal believed to be in the range of $34 million to $40 million (£27 million to £32 million).

As result, Pebble also confirmed it will not be able to move forward with its plans to complete its other crowdfunded product lines such as its Core, Time Round and Time 2 products. 

The company has promised to fully compensate people who backed these projects on Kickstarter, explaining: “Wearables have evolved tremendously since our Kickstarter project in 2012. Significant advancements and exciting new products on the horizon will drive the continued growth of the category. In evaluating our future, we wanted to align with a company that shared our take on how wearable technology can bring delight and utility to our lives.

“While dissolving Pebble as you know today is difficult, I am happy to announce that many members of Team Pebble will be joining the Fitbit family to continue their work on wearable software platforms. Pebble’s successful approach to third-party wearable development is undeniable, and Fitbit is welcoming our expertise in this space wholeheartedly.”

With an interest in purchasing the tech behind Pebble’s devices, Fitbit CEO James Park said: “With basic wearables getting smarter and smartwatches adding health and fitness capabilities, we see an opportunity to build on our strengths and extend our leadership position in the wearables category. 

“We’re well positioned to accelerate the expansion of our platform and ecosystem to make Fitbit a vital part of daily life for a wider set of consumers, as well as build the tools healthcare providers, insurers and employers need to more meaningfully integrate wearable technology into preventative and chronic care.”

News of a potential deal first emerged last week, with speculation of Fitbit's interest in the smartwatch maker's Pebble OS. This announcement confirms the thought at the time that Fitbit is not too concerned with acquiring Pebble's brand, but bolstering its own tech with the smartwatch's software. 

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