If you can’t beat them, buy them out. In a nutshell, that seems to be an important part of Fitbit’s market consolidation and expansion strategy these days. To be fair though, this is already the leader of a highly competitive albeit unexpectedly stagnant industry, while recent acquisitions Pebble and Vector never got to fulfill their potential.
Needless to point out that the former had all the chances in the world, whereas the latter sold out before it could truly take off. Bottom line, we’re talking two very different wearable companies snapped up by San Francisco-based Fitbit of late, which suggests the 2007-born activity tracker vendor might branch out in several directions and product subcategories soon.
Similar to Pebble, Vector Watch specialized in manufacturing “understated, timeless” smartwatches with stellar battery life and frugal e-ink screens. But its Romanian co-founders, alongside a first-class team of international Timex, Nike and Fossil designer and executive alums, marketed relatively affordable devices like the Luna and Meridian as luxury fashion accessories in addition to high-tech gadgets.
It was an angle that seemed to work for a while, mostly because Vector’s intelligent timepieces indeed looked great for their price point, although Fitbit actually only purchased the Vector Watch “software platform”, also securing the “team’s” services.
No words on hardware, other than a predictable announcement of no “new product features (software and hardware)” to be added to Vector’s own-brand portfolio. No financial details disclosed either, and most importantly, mum’s the word on exactly how Vector’s “unique technology and knowhow” will be incorporated with “Fitbit’s experience and global community.”