Pebble’s creative and commercial struggles have been obvious since last year’s introduction of the Time family, its money problems deepened early this year, and unfortunately for the smartwatch pioneer, your nearly $13 million pledged in total on Kickstarter for three new wearable products couldn’t prevent a forced bargain sale to Fitbit.
While not yet confirmed, the deal will almost certainly be announced soon, and unless Pebble can find another miraculous survival solution, it should also close relatively quickly. Fresh inside information suggests software “assets” are at the core of the corporate takeover, with hardware development likely to come to an end.
Not only are future Pebble devices improbable, but the Kickstarter-funded Time 2 and Core may never see daylight either, with supporters of course due full refunds. The Pebble 2 has already started shipping, though its own cancellation is also still possible, with no further units heading out for early adopters.
Existing product inventory and server equipment might be sold off separately if Fitbit shows no last-minute interest, the “less than $40 million” currently set aside for the acquisition merely covering the Pebble watch’s operating system, apps and cloud services. No debt or other “obligations” either.
The global wearable market leader is rumored to be going after smartwatch king Apple more aggressively with this purchase. To achieve its increasingly ambitious goals, the San Francisco-based fitness tech specialist may also take on the bulk of Pebble’s software engineers, “very few” interface designers, but no hardware employees whatsoever.
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