The firm behind the wearable technology has announced that it will be shutting down its operations.
The Pebble smartwatch had been holding its own for a long time. However, with wearable technology competition rising from giants such as Apple and Google, the challenge skyrocketed.
Many in the industry felt that Pebble’s longer history would ensure its position in the market.
That does not appear to be the case. On Wednesday, the company announced that the Pebble smartwatch business would soon shut down. The announcement was made on the official Pebble Technology Corp. website. The post included the company’s intention to close itself down. It will also sell its intellectual property to Fitbit Inc. That rival company will also be hiring some of the “key personnel” from Pebble Technology.
Eric Migicovsky, the founder of Pebble, wrote: “Due to various factors, Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity.” This was expressed in a blog post on the company’s site. He added “We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.”
Migicovsky did not use the blog post to explain why the Pebble smartwatch company could no longer operate independently.
The terms of the Pebble deal with Fitbit have not been disclosed. According to a Fitbit spokesperson, the details of the acquisition were not revealed because they are “not material to Fitbit’s financials.”
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Many in the wearable technology industry have predicted that the addition of engineers and software from Pebble will only strengthen Fitbit’s position. This could enhance its competitiveness within the marketplace. That said, it is not yet clear how many of Pebble’s employees will be joining Fitbit.
Fitness trackers have seen a growing threat from smartwatches – such as the Apple Watch – that include health and fitness tracking features. Fitbit has experienced a chunk bitten out of its own market share. Over the last few months, Fitbit’s growth has slowed significantly. Sales have been dragging and expansion has been challenging.
The company’s acquisition of the Pebble smartwatch software and engineers could possibly help Fitbit to bite back against wearable technology rivals.