Fitbit to Swoop for Troubled Pebble

Fitbit to Swoop for Troubled Pebble
Fitbit is reportedly on the verge of acquiring Pebble's smartwatch software and development expertise.

(CCM) —
Fitbit is poised to swoop for Pebble, the struggling smartwatch startup, to bolster its technology in a bid to better compete with Apple, according to a report in Bloomberg. Sources said that Fitbit is interested in getting its hands on Pebble's watch operating system, watch apps, and cloud services, as well as gaining access to the expertise of the company's software engineers. Fitbit will pay less than $40 million for Pebble but will not take on the company's debt. Assets such as product inventory and server equipment will be sold off separately, according to the sources, and Kickstarter backers for the Time 2 and Pebble Core devices will be refunded. Since Pebble's debts and other obligations exceed the price Fitbit plans to pay for the company, employees' shares will be worthless. Pebble's offices will be closed and the future of the Pebble brand has not yet been decided.

Fitbit recently cut its holiday period sales forecast but dominated the wearable device market with a 23% market share in the third quarter of this year, according to a recent IDC report. This figure includes its popular fitness trackers as well as its Blaze smartwatch. Apple's market share during the same period was just 4.9%, while Pebble's was too small to be included in the IDC report.

Image: © Fitbit.