Pebble acquired by Fitbit, will stop making smartwatches

Alex Kidman 8 December 2016 NEWS

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Fitbit buyout means it’s the end of the road for the smartwatch pioneer.

It was widely tipped last week that activity tracking manufacturer Fitbit was looking to acquire fellow wearables maker Pebble. Most reports suggested that this wasn't because Fitbit wanted to get into the e-Ink watches Pebble specialises in, but because it wanted to secure Pebble’s intellectual property.

Pebble has confirmed that today, announcing that it will acquire Pebble and immediately stop all hardware production. In an email sent out to Pebble customers, Pebble stated: "We are no longer manufacturing, promoting, or selling any new products."

What does this mean for my existing Pebble devices?

Pebble isn’t going to stop your existing Pebble smartwatches from functioning, and there are no changes to the way those devices work planned. That being said, what’s left of Pebble’s design team is heading to Fitbit, which means that there won’t be any future software updates, and it's not clear how long the Pebble app store will remain open.

What if I ordered a new Pebble device?

Pebble has stated that any devices ordered that had not yet been shipped will be fully refunded. That includes any Kickstarter backers who had backed the Time 2, Core and Time Round devices which were due to ship early next year. Pebble claims that it has shipped "every Pebble 2 possible" to date, but it’s feasible that you could still be waiting for one of those, and if so, a refund should be forthcoming.

Does this mean Fitbit will release new Pebbbles?

It’s highly unlikely. Pebble’s statement on where its team goes next reads as follows:

Much of our team and resources will join Fitbit to deliver new “moments of awesome” in future Fitbit products, developer tools, and experiences. "

This suggests that while some development ideas from Pebble may head into future Fitbit products, the possibility of anything bearing a Pebble logo is slim at best.

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