Fitbit close to buying Pebble, Time 2 and Pebble Core could be killed off

Fitbit is reportedly getting ready to acquire Pebble's software assets. Citing people familiar with the matter, Bloomberg notes that the deal is valued at under $40 million, and will include hiring Pebble's software engineers as well as the company's IP — its watch operating system, watch apps, and cloud services:

The purchase price is less than $40 million, and Pebble's debt and other obligations exceed that, two of the people said. Fitbit is not taking on the debt, one of the people said. The rest of Pebble's assets, including product inventory and server equipment, will be sold off separately, some of the people said. An announcement is imminent, the people added.

Pebble's latest watches — the Time 2 and Pebble Core — will be canceled as a result of the sale, and customers that have ordered through Kickstarter will receive refunds. If the sale goes through, Pebble's engineers will relocate to Fitbit's offices in San Francisco, and the company's offices will be closed. Fitbit reportedly rolled out job offers to several of Pebble's software engineers, although it looks like most hardware engineers and interface designers will be let go.

According to IDC, the wearable segment saw a meager 3.1% YoY increase in shiments this quarter, with fitness bands accounting for 85% of the 23 million shipments. Fitbit led the pack with 5.3 million shipments this quarter on the back of Charge HR and Charge 2, but the company's stock continues to decline on account of the slow growth in the segment. An announcement is said to be imminent, so we should hear something official soon.

Harish Jonnalagadda
Senior Editor - Asia

Harish Jonnalagadda is Android Central's Senior Editor of Asia. In his current role, he oversees the site's coverage of Chinese phone brands, networking products, and AV gear. He has been testing phones for over a decade, and has extensive experience in mobile hardware and the global semiconductor industry. Contact him on Twitter at @chunkynerd.