Fitbit definitely looks set to aquire former Kickstarter darling Pebble, according to a new report, but the buy out is focussed on snaffling the firm’s software assets, not its hardware – meaning the Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core are dead in the water.
Citing “people familiar with the matter,” Bloomberg has revealed that the deal is now “close” to being finalised, after rumours of the takeover first surfaced last week.
It’s thought that the transaction will see Pebble snapped up for just $40 million (about £31m), with Fitbit said to be most interested in acquiring the start-up’s software assets, including its smartwatch operating system and apps, as well as its cloud services.
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Job offers are thought to be have made to approximately 40% of Pebble’s staff, most of whom are believed to be software engineers.
One immediate consequence of the buy out is that development of Pebble hardware will stopped, so the nascent Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core watches are essentially being killed off.
The two wearables recently smashed their Kickstarter target and were expected to start shipping in January 2017, but according to the report’s sources, refunds will now be issued to backers instead.
Pebble has yet to update its Kickstarter or pre-order page, presumably because the acquisition hasn’t been formally announced.
Feeling a tad Machiavellian? One likely silver lining for consumers is that we can now expect to see a fire sale on existing Pebble smartwatches in the very near future.
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