Fitbit Reportedly Close to Acquiring Pebble

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Fitbit is closing in on a deal to acquire smart watchmaker Pebble, according to a new report from The Information. While there's no number on the price, The Information says the deal is for a "small amount."


The deal will see the Pebble brand slowly phased out, with its products shut down over time. Fitbit will largely be acquiring Pebble's assets, which include intellectual property and software. Pebble had reportedly been looking to sell as the company has been experiencing financial troubles over the past year.

Pebble debuted three new smartwatches -- the Pebble 2, Time 2 and Pebble Core -- back in July. In August, it issued a software update that streamlined its interface and redesigned the "Pebble Health" feature. However, the company also laid off 25 perfect of its staff in March.

Last February, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky said the company was unfazed by the Apple Watch, largely because the company was less focused on apps than Apple. The Cupertino company quickly became the leader in the smartwatch category after the launch of the Apple Watch, but last month market research from IDC indicated that the overall smartwatch market declined 51.6 percent in the third quarter.

As for Fitbit, the acquisition could signal that the company is looking to expand beyond fitness wearables. In August, alongside its new Charge 2 and Flex 2, the company announced all-new luxe leather bands and other premium accessories. Fitbit has also seen struggles recently, with the company's shares tumbling 30 percent after announcing mixed third-quarter results and weak guidance for its fourth quarter.

Article Link: Fitbit Reportedly Close to Acquiring Pebble
 

NinjaHERO

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Aug 29, 2008
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U S of A
I'm still waiting for my Time 2 from Kickstarter. I think this is going to be good news long term. I love my Pebble. Charging once a week is awesome. But the company has been terrible. I also own Fitbits and I've had great experiences with their customer service. Hopefully they just use the Pebble technology and make things better. Fingers crossed.
 
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humanresources

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2016
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That's too bad as they were a clear innovator.

That doesn't mean anything. Blackberry was the innovator of smartphones and now it has been fazed out by other top manufacturers.

Pebble was amazing during its time but they needed to step up their game but now it's too late
 

wesk702

macrumors 68000
Jul 7, 2007
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The hood



Fitbit is closing in on a deal to acquire smart watchmaker Pebble, according to a new report from The Information. While there's no number on the price, The Information says the deal is for a "small amount."


The deal will see the Pebble brand slowly phased out, with its products shut down over time. Fitbit will largely be acquiring Pebble's assets, which include intellectual property and software. Pebble had reportedly been looking to sell as the company has been experiencing financial troubles over the past year.

Pebble debuted three new smartwatches -- the Pebble 2, Time 2 and Pebble Core -- back in July. In August, it issued a software update that streamlined its interface and redesigned the "Pebble Health" feature. However, the company also laid off 25 perfect of its staff in March.

Last February, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky said the company was unfazed by the Apple Watch, largely because the company was less focused on apps than Apple. The Cupertino company quickly became the leader in the smartwatch category after the launch of the Apple Watch, but last month market research from IDC indicated that the overall smartwatch market declined 51.6 percent in the third quarter.

As for Fitbit, the acquisition could signal that the company is looking to expand beyond fitness wearables. In August, alongside its new Charge 2 and Flex 2, the company announced all-new luxe leather bands and other premium accessories. Fitbit has also seen struggles recently, with the company's shares tumbling 30 percent after announcing mixed third-quarter results and weak guidance for its fourth quarter.

Article Link: Fitbit Reportedly Close to Acquiring Pebble
I liked my Pebble the time I had it before the Apple Watch. I could most certainly never go back, but for a few apps and just getting forwarded texts, it's not bad. Texts aren't as solid as the AW but that's cause of the closed ecosystem. At least it has some life to give. They really need to replace Eric M as CEO though.
 

jamescobalt

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Mar 7, 2012
140
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Boston, MA
This could be a great thing. Neither Fitbit nor Pebble alone are well positioned to go up against the Samsung Gear and Apple Watch. Still, it's always a little sad to hear when personable, awesome companies like Pebble get eaten up by bigger, more corporate players.
 

stiligFox

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Apr 24, 2009
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As a previous owner of a pebble - and honestly I kind of preferred it over my Apple Watch - this is sad news :c Pebble has been doing great stuff lately... Fitbit... not so much.

Hope Fitbit doesn't drag them down too.

EDIT: looks like Fitbit would close them down.... ****
 
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Anonymous Freak

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Dec 12, 2002
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I'm still waiting for my Time 2 from Kickstarter. I think this is going to be good news long term. I love my Pebble. Charging once a week is awesome. But the company has been terrible. I also own Fitbits and I've had great experiences with their customer service. Hopefully they just use the Pebble technology and make things better. Fingers crossed.
Yeah, I ordered the "Time 2 plus Core" package - now I don't know if I'll get either of them... One good thing about Pebble, they have been willing to offer refunds.
 

rp2011

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2010
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Don't think anyone is surprised. Pebble deserved props for being there at a certain point in time. Fitbit deserves props for doing what it does so well.
But the value proposition wasn't there. Spend a couple dollars more and you get a far more functional device and something of a world class art piece for your wrist.

Say what you want about the Apple Watch, the industrial design has held up quite well. Props to Jony and his team for making something as timeless as their Watch. No doubt it will eventually end up going on display in modern art museums.

Those god awful retro-70's round k-mart specials Android wear will be relegated to permanent display under tons of other garbage at your local landfill.
 

brownpaw

macrumors regular
Apr 18, 2010
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I was very hesitant to drop a ton of money on an Apple Watch, but I happily dropped $60 on a refurb Pebble Time when the deal came up, just to dip my feet into the wearables market. I love, love, love the Pebble. I never really cared to wear a watch before but just getting basic notifications on my wrist has been fantastic -- especially for the price, with that battery life.

Yeah, eventually I'll get an Apple Watch. But it does make me sad that the Pebble brand will be no more -- their e-ink watches really go after a different segment, and I hate to see that competition go.
 

APlotdevice

macrumors 68040
Sep 3, 2011
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"largely because the company was less focused on apps"

That's one of the Pebble's major flaws honestly. Its app store is dismal.

I still maintain though that smartwatches should have energy-efficient reflective displays, not OLED. I don't care if OLED is more "colorful". I'm not watching videos on my watch!
 

iphone2g&3gfan

macrumors regular
Jun 14, 2013
147
103
Orlando, Florida
Pebble "laid off 25 perfect" of its staff. The link leads to a website that says its 25 percent of its staff. Sorry to point out mistakes. It's also sad that large companies keep buying small, emerging ones - because of that now nobody can innovate because one minute they're here and the next they're gone. It wipes out competition and therefore prices can start climbing...
 

ip67

macrumors regular
Sep 8, 2016
125
306
I just picked up a Pebble 2 yesterday after using a FitBit Charge HR for over a year. I was impressed right away; the charging cord is more than long enough (comically long compared to the Charge HR :D ), the omnidirectional MagSafe-esque charging too.

Week long battery life and a always on screen is icing on the cake. Notifications are simple but that's fine.

I like the Apple watch, but it would get torn up in my day to day use, and add to the fact charging it every day would just get annoying.

Pebble 2 gets my vote; even the unboxing experience felt the same if not better than Apple.
 
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rp2011

macrumors 68000
Oct 12, 2010
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I was very hesitant to drop a ton of money on an Apple Watch, but I happily dropped $60 on a refurb Pebble Time when the deal came up, just to dip my feet into the wearables market. I love, love, love the Pebble. I never really cared to wear a watch before but just getting basic notifications on my wrist has been fantastic -- especially for the price, with that battery life.

Yeah, eventually I'll get an Apple Watch. But it does make me sad that the Pebble brand will be no more -- their e-ink watches really go after a different segment, and I hate to see that competition go.
Pebble deserves a lot of warm praise for everything it did and on the budget that it did. Not just as a new affordable category, but also for doing it on a shoe string budget. They were fantastic for what and how they did what they did. They deserve a lot of credit and respect.
 

deany

macrumors 68030
Sep 16, 2012
2,873
2,088
North Wales
As soon as apple watch was launched it was the death knell for Pebble.

Surprised they managed to last till now.

Kudos to the founders for seeing the future, a sad day but the right decision. I hope they can get a decent amount for their hard work and forsight.
Not sure what "small amount" is nowadays maybe $2M to $5M after debts paid?
Hope all staff have the option to be employed by Fitbit, with zero redundancies.
 
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JackANSI

macrumors 6502a
Feb 3, 2011
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Great news. FitBit probably got a great deal, though a little late for the market in the current state. FitBit should have snapped them up 14 months ago, or at least poached a bunch of key people around that layoff time.
 

Someyoungguy

macrumors 6502
Oct 28, 2012
271
291
Don't think anyone is surprised. Pebble deserved props for being there at a certain point in time. Fitbit deserves props for doing what it does so well.
But the value proposition wasn't there. Spend a couple dollars more and you get a far more functional device and something of a world class art piece for your wrist.

Say what you want about the Apple Watch, the industrial design has held up quite well. Props to Jony and his team for making something as timeless as their Watch. No doubt it will eventually end up going on display in modern art museums.

Those god awful retro-70's round k-mart specials Android wear will be relegated to permanent display under tons of other garbage at your local landfill.
Thank you for the laugh, Mr. "World Class Art Piece". Yes, I'm sure people will be lining up to see that black, glass square just like they do for 80's LED digital watches. The Apple Watch is what, 18-20 months old? Is that really a good test of its design's timelessness?

Yes, despite my giving you a hard time, now that they have GPS I will probably eventually replace my Garmin with one, but let's not kid ourselves about what it is - a disposable, mass-produced, cribbed from an iPhone watch with terrible battery life.
 

Zirel

Suspended
Jul 24, 2015
2,196
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Wait... FitBit has money for that???

I don't know why they are buying Pebble, they are good, they make good watches, and were the real trailblazers, but I can't see value there.

I hope this isn't a bad thing. Pebble are solid watches.
Considering that FitBit is a snake oil company, it will be...
 
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