It's been highly anticipated for the past few weeks and now it's official - Google is to buy Fitbit, with the official statement from the fitness tracking brand quoted at $2.1billion.
“More than 12 years ago, we set an audacious company vision – to make everyone in the world healthier," said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.
"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.”
We learned back in September from our own sources that Fitbit was exploring a sale and reports last month suggested it could be Google - well, Alphabet - who would take the punt.
None of this comes as a huge surprise, with Fitbit being squeezed at both ends. It's struggling to gain a foothold in smartwatches, where Apple continues to dominate the market share; while its fitness tracker business is being eaten into by companies like Xiaomi, who continue to offer functionally comparable devices for less money.
Further to this, sources inside the company speaking to Wareable in recent months have expressed concern over Fitbit's leadership. Some told us there had been increasing pressure from investors for CEO James Park to step down, and for the company to appoint another leader to take on its biggest rivals.
Fitbit's Versa smartwatch was a successful product, and signaled the company might be able to turn things around after the poor performance of the Ionic; its debut smartwatch.
But sales of the follow-up Versa Lite were also disappointing, forcing Fitbit to cut its 2019 revenue forecast. The company recently launched its latest product, the Versa 2, which adds Alexa and a new design. While the watch's reception has been positive (including our review) it's difficult to predict how well it will perform.
"Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created terrific products, experiences and a vibrant community of users," stated Rick Osterloh, SVP, Devices & Services at Google.
"We're looking forward to working with the incredible talent at Fitbit, and bringing together the best hardware, software and AI, to build wearables to help even more people around the world."
The deals is expected to be finalised next year, subject to customary closing conditions, including approval by Fitbit’s stockholders and regulatory approvals.
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