FITBIT IS A COMPANY struggling to find its place in 2019.
In 2007, when the company was first founded, a phone-connected pedometer was revolutionary - now the same party trick is everywhere, including inside phones themselves. Squeezed by the Apple Watch at one end, and a hundred cheap Chinese fitness bands at the other, Fitbit is seemingly stuck in no man's land, as the general trend of investment reports show.
That trend was bucked last year by the Fitbit Versa, but the Versa Lite's weak sales have apparently left the company wondering if this was just a flash in the pan and, according to Reuters, contemplating a sale.
The site reports that Fitbit has been in talks with investment bank Qatalyst Partners over whether it should be engaging with potential buyers, though the same sources add that it hasn't 100 per cent decided that it's going to do so yet.
But Qatalyst reckons that any Fitbit sale could grab the attention of Google's parent company Alphabet, which is looking to boost its wearable reach as Wear OS continues to flounder. Given we've heard that Google almost launched a smartwatch in 2016 only to back out, then an established brand with a loyal fanbase could be just the thing to take the fight to Apple.
Of course, neither Fitbit nor Alphabet have commented on this - why would they? - but the leak has certainly proved helpful to Fitbit, with company share prices rising 22 per cent to $4.48 as the news broke. Counterintuitively, of course, this makes Fitbit a more expensive target, and therefore less attractive to buy outright.
Still, if anyone can afford it, then Alphabet can. It is worth around $762 billion, after all, so what's dropping a billion on Fitbit? It could even put in a few million as a tip. µ
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