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Pebble Shuts Down After Fitbit Buys Software

Fitbit, the leading wearable fitness tracker device maker, announced Wednesday (Dec. 7) that it has acquired Pebble, a pioneer in the smartwatch markets.

In a press release, Fitbit said it acquired Pebble’s key personal and intellectual property related to software and firmware development. The acquisition excludes the company’s hardware products. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but media reports last week pegged the price tag at anywhere from $35 million to $40 million. Fitbit said the acquisition will facilitate faster delivery of new products, features and functionality. Pebble’s hardware will cease to exist with the deal.

“With basic wearables getting smarter and smartwatches adding health and fitness capabilities, we see an opportunity to build on our strengths and extend our leadership position in the wearables category,” said James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit in the press release. “With this acquisition, we’re well positioned to accelerate the expansion of our platform and ecosystem to make Fitbit a vital part of daily life for a wider set of consumers, as well as build the tools health care providers, insurers and employers need to more meaningfully integrate wearable technology into preventative and chronic care.”

According to Fitbit, with Android usage accounting for nearly 90 percent of smartphone OS market share globally, the ability to deliver cross-platform devices is a key competitive advantage in the wearables category.

“As an early entrant in the category, Pebble was a trailblazer of the largest open, agnostic, connected device operating system, which complements Fitbit’s broad cross-platform compatibility with more than 200 iOS, Android and Windows Phone devices,” the company said.

In a blog post, Pebble Chief Executive Eric Migicovsky said that due to a number of factors, “Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity. We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.”

The Pebble transaction was completed on Dec. 6.

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