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Fitbit May Buy Pebble as Smartwatch Maker Struggles

Image: Fitbit May Buy Pebble as Smartwatch Maker Struggles

Fitbit may buy Pebble for $40 million, according to reports. (Fitbit; Pebble)

By    |   Friday, 02 Dec 2016 01:07 PM

Fitbit may buy Pebble for millions, despite the smartwatch maker's recent troubles.

Fitbit, the fitness wristband maker, said Wednesday that it was close to making a deal with Pebble, the smartwatch pioneer, that could include a price tag of about $40 million, according to TechCrunch.

According to the Financial Times, Fitbit is interested in Pebble’s “intellectual property and new expertise in wearable devices,” as the fitness-tracker is looking to expand its range of products.

Despite the fact that Pebble has raised more than $40 million through Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site, sources close to the deal said Fitbit could acquire Pebble for a lower cost due to their financial woes, the Financial Times noted.

Although Pebble had a strong following when it first launched in 2012, it has struggled to gain appeal in the mainstream market.

Pebble saw a 51 percent annual decline by units in the third quarter this year, and product sales decreased by 54 percent, PC World noted.

Fitbit has its scope mainly on Pebble’s “PebbleOS,” which currently has a significant amount of apps running on it and is compatible for both Apple’s iOS and Android, according to PC World.

A deal between the two would likely make sense considering Pebble has switched its focus in recent months to fitness, having unveiled its Time 2 and Pebble 2 this year, which both contain a heart-rate monitor, PC World noted.

Despite the revealing of these new products, Fitbit would likely move in a different direction if a deal is made.

Fitbit has experienced its own share of challenges as well, as the company is trading at $8.40 compared with when it listed its shares at $50 on the New York Stock Exchange in 2015, TechCrunch noted.

Fitbit launched in 2007, while Pebble launched its first smartwatch in 2012, two years before the Apple Watch flooded the market.

Neither Fitbit nor Pebble have commented on the potential deal.

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Fitbit may buy Pebble for millions, despite the smartwatch makers' recent troubles.
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2016-07-02
Friday, 02 Dec 2016 01:07 PM
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