Fitbit picks up Pebble's software assets and IP.
Following reports from earlier today, Fitbit has officially announced that it is acquiring "specific assets" of Pebble that includes "key personnel and intellectual property related to software and firmware development." No monetary terms were disclosed, but Bloomberg's report suggested the deal was valued under $40 million.
Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park said in the official announcement that Fitbit is now "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."
Following the acquisition, Pebble will cease to operate as an independent entity. The company has already stopped taking any new orders, and has mentioned that warranty support is no longer available. Pebble has also clarified that Kickstarter customers awaiting their orders will receive refunds within 4-8 weeks.
Here's the breakdown, straight from Pebble:
- Pebble is no longer promoting, manufacturing, or selling any devices.
- Pebble devices will continue to work as normal. No immediate changes to the Pebble user experience will happen at this time.
- Pebble functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future.
- Kickstarter backers who have not received their rewards will receive a full refund within 4-8 weeks as a chargeback to their credit cards. No further action is needed. For more information, please visit our Support page.
- Orders from pebble.com are no longer being accepted or fulfilled, including Pebble 2 pre-orders, which have not yet been charged or shipped.
- Warranty support is no longer available for Pebble watches. How-to information and troubleshooting can still be found on our Support page and in the Pebble Forum.
- Returns of pebble.com orders that were successfully completed before December 7, 2016 will be refunded by our Support Team.
- Pebble watches purchased at retail may be returned or exchanged based on the retailer's return policy.
- Pebblers can still find replacement charging cables and other compatible accessories (bands, skins, etc.) from Amazon.com and third-party vendors like GadgetWraps and Clockwork Synergy.
- If you have any other questions about Pebble's wind-down of operations, please visit this page.
Despite its troubles, the company managed to carve out a niche in the wearable segment, and will be sorely missed. Read Pebble founder and CEO Eric Migicovsky's statement in its entirety below.
Thank you all for being such loyal supporters and champions of the Pebble community and brand. You helped start something fantastic when you backed our first Kickstarter project (and shout-out to the first inPulse users). Since then, we've shipped over 2 million Pebbles around the world!
However—due to various factors—Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity. We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices. This news has several major implications, and we hope to answer as many questions as possible here, in Kickstarter Update #17, and on our Support site.
Making Awesome Happen will live on at Fitbit. Our developer community set Pebble's wearable technology ecosystem apart from the rest. No other wearable platform was more open or gave developers more freedom to create, experiment, and delight the world with beautiful watchfaces, useful apps, and unique experiences. The Pebble Dev community's mission was to Make Awesome Happen, and they accomplished that beyond our wildest dreams.
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.
It is because of the close collaboration with the Fitbit team that the Pebble user experience will continue. Fitbit will maintain services so that Pebble devices continue to work as normal. Pebble functionality and service may be reduced in the future. We applaud their efforts as we collectively work to streamline this transition for Pebblers everywhere.
For nearly ten years, Fitbit has been the pioneer and leader in creating innovative health and fitness-focused devices and experiences that help people reach their wellness goals. They differentiated themselves from the competition with broad, cross-platform compatibility, a range of price points, long battery life, and a focus on design so that devices can integrate seamlessly into our lives. These are all values we championed at Pebble, so aligning with Fitbit felt natural. The arrangements were finalized today for Fitbit to acquire our technology, software, and other intellectual property (IP). Fitbit will share more about their plans in the future, but from what I've seen so far, it's very exciting.
Developers have an exciting opportunity to reach and delight over 50 million users and counting. The team joining Fitbit will help the company accelerate development of the tools and resources devs need to enhance future Fitbit products with experiences that can take wearables to new heights of utility and appeal. If this opportunity excites you too, join us for the ride! The Pebble Developer Blog has more detail on how we're bringing Pebble's expertise in this realm to Fitbit.
It's a bittersweet day, but I want to extend my biggest thanks to the Pebble community. Personally, one of the best feelings ever is spotting you on the train, running through an airport, or finishing a bike ride and checking your Pebble. If you catch me staring at your wrist (I'll be the tall guy wearing a Pebble t-shirt), stop me and say "Hi." If you're wearing your Pebble, a drink is on me!
Thank you as well to all of Team Pebble—past and present. You've worked incredibly hard over the last 8 (!) years and created something amazing. It's been a pleasure working with you and I can't wait to see what you have in store for the future.