Fitbit could be sold and Google may be interested – report
Executives at wearable tech pioneer Fitbit are reportedly mulling whether the company should be sold, according to Reuters sources.
In what would potentially see a massive realignment of the wearable industry, Fitbit’s top brass is pondering whether to sell up ‘amid challenges in successfully pivoting from fitness trackers to smart watches’, according to those people familiar with the matter.
The critically acclaimed Fitbit Versa sold well, but the Lite edition was a flop, it emerged in July, causing a significant drop in revenue. The company just announced a Versa 2 smartwatch with Alexa support, on which much will surely depend.
Related: Fitbit Versa 2
The report claims Fitbit has been talking to an investment bank regarding ‘whether to engage’ with potential suitors. Qatalyst Partners has argued to Fitbit that a purchase could even attract interest from Google’s patent company Alphabet in what would be an epochal get for Google’s wearable tech ambitions and finally give it the means to challenge the Apple Watch beyond the floundering Wear OS platform.
None of the parties mentioned have commented on the Reuters report, which does say it’s entirely possible Fitbit will not follow through beyond the internal discussions.
Fitbit dominated the early wearable era alongside the likes of Jawbone, which it vanquished, and Pebble, which it purchased and used to build out the Fitbit OS software for its own smartwatches.
However, with a number of cheaper fitness trackers from Chinese manufacturers cutting into its wristband prospects, and the continuing dominance of the Apple Watch, the company has found it harder going in recent years, despite ever improving products.
In our first impressions of the Versa 2, our team wrote: “For under £200/$200, the Versa 2 looks like it’ll be an excellent choice for someone who wants a fitness tracking watch that doesn’t look too much like a fitness tracking watch. It’ll be familiar to those comfortable with the Fitbit ecosystem and, as it works across iOS and Android, it’s a good alternative to the Apple Watch.”