Within a few days of reports emerging that Google is buying FitBit, the company has confirmed the 15,000 crore INR purchase. “Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created terrific products, experiences and a vibrant community of users. 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,” stated Rick Osterloh, SVP, Devices & Services at Google. The rumours on this alliance started in September. It did not come as a huge surprise though, as FitBit had been struggling for a foothold in the smartwatch market where Apple dominates. With the advent of cheaper versions of smartwatches from companies like Xiaomi, the race had gotten tougher for FitBit.
Fitbit’s Versa was a successful product and gave hopes that the company might be able to recover from the failure of, Ionic, its debut smartwatch model. The sales of its next model, Versa Lite was disappointing, forcing Fitbit to cut its 2019 revenue forecast. However, the company recently launched its latest product, the Versa 2, which has added features like Alexa and a new design. While the reception for this watch was positive, there is still apprehension on how it will perform. Adding fuel to the fire, sources inside the company had expressed to Wareable, their concerns over Fitbit’s leadership. Apparently, there had been pressure from investors on the CEO, James Park to step down for new leadership. The Google-FitBit collaboration can be thought of as the first step to something amazing, with FitBit’s strengths in coming up with commendable hardware and Google’s expertise in Android-integrated software.
Google has spent years trying to break into the wearables market with its Wear OS platform but has not been successful. “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.” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit.