Fitbit Buys Pebble, Crushes Kickstarter Darling's Smartwatch Dreams Into Dust

If you were hoping to get your hands on an next generation Pebble smartwatch, think again. The company has been acquired by Fitbit. This purchase includes Pebble’s personnel and intellectual property related to software and firmware development, but excludes the company’s hardware products.

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James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit, remarked, “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 healthcare providers, insurers and employers need to more meaningfully integrate wearable technology into preventative and chronic care.”

According to Pebble, it can no longer function as an independent entity due to “various factors”. Although the company's doesn't offer any specifics, this deal could be due to the fact that demand for wearables is simply down. This past Spring, Pebble axed 25 percent of its workforce. This past quarter, smartwatch sales drooped by 51%. Subsequently, these companies have lowered their expectations for the holiday season.

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What does this deal mean for Pebble customers? Pebble will no longer be promoting, manufacturing, or selling any devices. However, how-to information and troubleshooting will still be found on its support page and Pebble forum. Pebble watches will continue to operate normally for now, but functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future. Warranty support will also no longer be available.

Orders from are no longer being accepted or fulfilled. This includes Pebble 2 pre-orders, which have not yet been charged or shipped. Kickstarter backers who have not received their rewards will receive a full refund within four to eight weeks. Returns of orders that were successfully completed before December 7th, 2016 will be refunded. Pebble watches purchased at a retail store can be returned to the stores according to their respective return policies. If you're outside of the return window, you're out of luck.