Google owner Alphabet is acquiring Fitbit, bringing to the end the weeks of speculation. Announced in a post at Google’s blog, the company said the following:
Over the years, Google has made progress with partners in this space with Wear OS and Google Fit, but we see an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market. Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created engaging products, experiences and a vibrant community of users. By working closely with Fitbit’s team of experts, and bringing together the best AI, software and hardware, we can help spur innovation in wearables and build products to benefit even more people around the world.
We’ve highlighted the key term there and we can’t wait to see the first Google-branded wearable hitting the market.
Fitbit brings some solid low-power technology to the Wear OS platform, which already enables the Versa 2 to work for up to 5 days on a single charge.
This is great news for Fitbit investors, but I’m not sure it’s also great for the consumers. One competitor down is never a good thing.
Also, I’m not sure why other tech giants — namely Amazon and Microsoft — missed the opportunity to make the (same) move. Fitbit has already worked with Amazon to integrate Alexa in the mentioned Versa 2, and Microsoft could acquire Fitbit and use it to return to the wearables market. Its previous efforts in the form of Microsoft Band and Microsoft Band 2 led nowhere, but with a whole new platform (Fitbit OS) combined with the Redmond giant’s vast resources could make a dent in this market.
At the very least, more bids would force Google to offer/spend more on the acquisition.
In any case, now we’re all hoping to get a decent smartwatch running Wear OS. It’s about time the Apple Watch gets a solid competitor, one coming from the company with both money and power to move markets.