After several months in financial difficulties, Pebble would have finally found a buyer. Fitbit, the specialist of the connected bracelet, would be interested in the watch manufacturer’s patent collection.
While the market for connected watches is tumbling, that of sports bracelets is doing quite well. In September, IDC reported that FitBit remained the market leader with 25.4% market share for 5.7 million sales, growing by about 30% in one year. Pebble fell to 100,000 sales while it was twice as good a year ago.
We learn from The Information that FitBit is about to crunch Pebble. This would be a very interesting acquisition as both companies have the same independent position in their respective markets for the connected bracelet and watch. Indeed, the two companies offer products different from the rest of the market that do not rely on the solutions of Apple or Google. Pebble in particular is known for its e-ink screen watches both compatible with Android and iOS but not using Android Wear.
We know since the beginning of the year that Pebble was facing financial problems after the announcement of the dismissal of 25% of the workforce.
A redemption for patents
The Verge was able to confirm that Fitbit was well on the point of buying Pebble and also highlights the reason why Fitbit would be interested in this acquisition. The company would actually want Pebble technologies and patents.
One imagines that FitBit is particularly interested in the use of the E-Ink screen by Pebble, a technology also used by Fitbit on certain products. The brand would also be interested in the operating system developed by Pebble for its Pebble Time.
According to The Information, the redemption would be a small amount and would follow a long search of a buyer by Pebble.
The uncertain future of Pebble products
If FitBit really wants to acquire Pebble for its technology, this seems to be a bad sign for the future of Pebble products. Indeed, Fitbit could stop any investment in research and development, which would cancel the possible announcement of a Pebble Time 3.
It is unclear when the deal will be signed or formalized by the two companies, but there seems to be little doubt about Pebble’s future.