It’s official, after rumours earlier this week that Google was looking to buy Fitbit, the search giant has just announced its acquisition of fitness wearable company Fitbit. The $2.1 billion dollar deal is expected to close in 2020 but neither company has commented on how the company will be integrated into Google.
Recent reports show that Apple has 37.9% of the wearable market as of Q2 2019 while Fitbit claimed second place with 24.1%. As for Google? Well, they would most likely be found in the other category.
In a statement on Google’s blog, Rick Osterloh – Google’s Senior Vice President, Devices & Services – said “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.”
What does this mean for you? According to an email sent out to Fitbit owners, the company says that “For the immediate future, nothing changes. But the goal is that with Google’s resources and global platform, we will be able to innovate and bring you, and our millions of other users around the world, even more great products and services to support you on your health and wellness journeys. We know no one size fits all, so we are still dedicated to providing choice through a broad range of devices, software and services, and will continue to support both Android and iOS operating systems.”
Fitbit CEO and co-founder, James Park said “More than 12 years ago, we set an audacious company vision – to make everyone in the world healthier. Today, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved towards reaching that goal. We have built a trusted brand that supports more than 28 million active users around the globe who rely on our products to live a healthier, more active life. Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission. With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone. I could not be more excited for what lies ahead.”
Hopefully, this means we can expect a Pixel-branded smartwatch from Google alongside next year’s Pixel 5 and better Wear OS software rolling out to smartwatches running on the platform, but given Google’s history of not utilising the full potential of its acquisitions, I wouldn’t hold my breath.