Google parent Alphabet buys Fitbit and plans to spend more time and money on Wear OS

Google parent Alphabet buys Fitbit  and plans to spend more time and money on Wear OS
Back in September, fitness tracker and smartwatch manufacturer Fitbit put itself up for sale. Immediately, one possible buyer surfaced at the top of everyone's list: Google. The rumors heated up earlier this week and today the deal became official. For $2.1 billion, Google parent Alphabet will purchase Fitbit in a transaction that will close next year. While the latter has had success with its fitness trackers, the company has been unable to repeat this success with its smartwatch line. Fitbit stock holders will receive $7.35 in cash for each share they own. After soaring 28% on Monday, the stock has risen an additional 15% today to $7.10.

Google says that the purchase of Fitbit creates an opportunity for it to invest more in Wear OS, which might be considered good news for those hoping to one day have a Pixel Watch adorn their wrist. In fact, in Google's own press release that it issued today, the company comes right out and states that the transaction could lead it to "introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market." While that might not be the same as Motorola saying that we will flip for the new product it is unveiling on November 13th, it still sounds promising. Most believe that there is no Pixel Watch at this time because Google feels that Wear OS is not exactly ready for prime time and any further development that Google does with the software is welcome.

Google says that Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used to serve up Google ads


Users shouldn't notice any change in the way that Fitbit devices handle users' personal data. Goolge stated today that "similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why. We will never sell personal information to anyone. Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data." Fitbit has sold over 100 million devices and has millions of active users. In its own press release, Fitbit notes that its wearables will remain compatible with both Android and iOS devices.



Fitbit entered the smartwatch market with the Ionic, a device that did not appeal to the masses. Women were said to be turned off by the large display and the number of apps available did not excite the public. So last year Fitbit unveiled the Versa and followed that up with this year with the Versa 2, which we just reviewed about a week and a half ago. Fitbit's latest smartwatch features integration with Amazon's Alexa virtual assistant; somehow, we don't see Alexa remaining a feature of future Fitbit smartwatches since Google does own the top ranked Google Assistant.

When Google spent $40 million early last year to buy innovative intellectual property from watchmaker Fossil, it turned out that the transaction was really about poaching 20 engineers from Fossil. The purchase of Fitbit is much larger in scope which means that Google will be getting its hands on engineers, intellectual property, research and development, and fitness tracking capabilities that would be quite useful on a Pixel Watch. Whether such a product is on the way we might not know for some time; in fact, Google might simply sit back at first to survey how the purchase of Fitbit can be used to its advantage. And while it might not come even next year, make no mistake about it; Google's purchase of Fitbit will eventually lead to the creation of the long-awaited Pixel Watch.

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17 Comments

1. Cat97

Posts: 1969; Member since: Mar 02, 2017

Another company waiting to be ruined by Google, after Motorola and HTC.

8. Back_from_beyond

Posts: 1459; Member since: Sep 04, 2015

Google didn't ruin HTC, HTC did that on their own. Motorola they did sorta screw over.

9. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 432; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Motorola did it to them selves Google just wanted the patents. I don't believe they dated about Motorola.

13. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

Yea, Motorola and Lenovo ruined Motorola Some of Motorola's best phones were released while owned by Google Motorola were in a better when Google sold them compared when Google bought them Also Google barely bought HTC Just patents and a team who were already working on the Pixels anyways lol

12. Venom

Posts: 3778; Member since: Dec 14, 2017

HTC ruined themselves. Motorola you're right. They only bought them for the patents since Apple was pulling a blackberry and being patent trolls.

14. vincelongman

Posts: 5745; Member since: Feb 10, 2013

IMO some of Motorola's best phones were released while owned by Google Motorola were in a better when Google sold them compared when Google bought them Motorola and Lenovo ruined Motorola

2. ZEUS.the.thunder.god

Posts: 1157; Member since: Oct 05, 2011

Possibility of a Pixel watch next year?

3. Alan01

Posts: 638; Member since: Mar 21, 2012

I'd say 50% to 60% next year rising to as high as 90% in 2021. Regards, Alan

7. TBomb

Posts: 1632; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

i think you are right @Alan.

4. IAMBLCKJ3ZUS

Posts: 432; Member since: Sep 29, 2015

Just like that the pixel watch has been born, meaning Google technically it's now top 2/3 smartwatch market share owners. Pixel knights have now won the wearable market. Announcement will be with the release of the pixel buds and pixel 4a.

5. BearHug

Posts: 29; Member since: Jan 27, 2017

Really, Fitbit! Google? Literally any company but Google. They'd kill it with their incompetence.

11. TBomb

Posts: 1632; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

Nahhh I see it being like a Waze/Google Maps thing maybe

6. Crispin_Gatieza

Posts: 3163; Member since: Jan 23, 2014

I'm wondering if Fitbit Pay will be ditched in favor of Google Pay. If so, this may not work very well with iPhones which in turn would probably get me to switch to Android for good. Why do I not use the Apple Watch in my drawer? Simple, Apple's insistence on silencing iPhone notifications while wearing the Watch.

10. TBomb

Posts: 1632; Member since: Dec 28, 2012

I don't see Fitbit Pay getting the guillotine instantly. I'm not sure the tech in each payment, but they may be able to run in parallel or one gets phased out by not being put in future devices, and only the other does.

17. quakan

Posts: 1419; Member since: Mar 02, 2011

I still don’t think we’ll see it gain any traction. The smart watch market appears to be saturated and stagnant. Most of the Apple Watch competitors have exited the market and aren’t looking back, quite similarly to the tablet market.

18. CreeDiddy

Posts: 2270; Member since: Nov 04, 2011

Google can’t grow wearables. What happened to Gear OS? Lol!

19. pt020

Posts: 172; Member since: Apr 08, 2014

No one with Android phone uses an Apple watch... but OK it is PA.

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