FITNESS TRACKER MAKER Fitbit has announced, as expected, that it's buying Kickstarter smartwatch outfit Pebble.
In a release, Fitbit said that it has scooped up Pebble's key personnel and intellectual property related to software and firmware development.
The acquisition excludes the company’s hardware products, and Pebble has announced separately that this is the end of the road for its smartwatch line-up.
The firm's new Pebble Time 2, Core and Time Round Kickstarter Edition have been cancelled, and while current Pebble watches will continue to work, functionality will be reduced in the future due to a lack of support.
In a heartfelt post, the firm admitted: "Pebble can no longer operate as an independent entity, and we have made the tough decision to shut down the company. The deal finalised today preserves as much of Pebble as possible."
Pebble has said that Kickstarter backers will get refunds for any unfulfilled rewards, although those that received a Pebble 2 won't be eligible to get their money back - even though the smartwatch could stop working in a few months.
Still, Fitbit is feeling optimistic about the acquisition and said that the deal will add "deep industry expertise in platform development" to the company, which will, in turn, allow it to speed up the delivery of new products, features and functionality.
"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," said James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit.
"With this acquisition, 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."
Fitbit hasn't said how much it paid for Pebble, but reports claim the deal was worth less than $40m. µ
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