Fitbit may only be interested in Pebble’s software, Time 2 and Core nearing cancellation [Update: confirmed]

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Update: The “leader in the connected health and fitness market” has just announced it’s indeed acquiring “specific assets of Pebble.” Namely, “key personnel and intellectual property related to software and firmware development.” Nothing hardware-related, as expected.

Interestingly enough, it seems the transaction was already completed yesterday, December 6, though all the financial details remain under wraps. Fitbit is looking to build on its strengths and extend its leadership position in the wearables category after the purchase, but it’s unclear if the Pebble device brand as a whole and the Time 2 and Core in particular are dead and buried now.

Our original story is below.

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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About The Author
Adrian Diaconescu
Adrian has had an insatiable passion for writing since he was in school and found himself writing philosophical essays about the meaning of life and the differences between light and dark beer. Later, he realized this was pretty much his only marketable skill, so he first created a personal blog (in Romanian) and then discovered his true calling, which is writing about all things tech (in English).