Published: Mon, November 04, 2019
Electronics | By Kelly Massey

Google ramps up wearable credentials with $2.1bn Fitbit buy

Google ramps up wearable credentials with $2.1bn Fitbit buy

In a big and considerably noticeable development from the Alphabet-owned Google - especially for the public - Google is purchasing the renowned wearable health & fitness tracker service Fitbit in a $2.1 billion deal.

Since then Fitbit, which made its reputation selling low-priced fitness trackers, has struggled to compete against Apple in the market for higher-end smart watches. "Google's Senior Vice President of Devices and Services Rick Osterloh addressed this in a blog post accompanying the announcement, stating that Fitbit data will "not be used for Google ads" and that Google will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data". Fitbit's technical chops could help Google come up with a wearable to take on its biggest rivals.

The company has intent, with the introduction of several new products in October including the new Pixel 4 smartphone, at its health and hardware ambitions. That is potentially a very powerful amount of personal data that Google will potentially have access to.

Google has been trying to make it work for years, and with the Apple Watch showing how lucrative this market can be now, it's made a decision to acquire a company that does know how to make a good smartwatch.

Fitbit co-founder and chief executive James Park said Google was the company's "ideal partner".

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"Fitbit will continue to put users in control of their data and will remain transparent about the data it collects and why", the company said. As another example, Gartner analyst Werner Goertz said perhaps Nest could use location data from FitBit to adjust the temperature or energy output if it determines you're out of town.

The Google SVP is already in-cost of guaranteeing the corporate has a unified strategy to design. If you've used a Fitbit in conjunction with an Android phone - particularly one of Google's Pixel smartphones - you'll know that they absolutely destroy your phone's battery. For Google to successfully absorb Fitbit, integration needs to be broken down into manageable chunks, allowing for a seamless transition into a modern network to enable other business units to capitalise on its acquired capabilities. Fitbit enjoys a considerable 28 million active users across the globe with over 100 million tracking devices sold. Analysts have said that much of the company's value may now lie in its health data.

If the main unique wearable Google releases doesn't goal Fitbit's PurePulse coronary heart price tracking know-how, then the acquisition can had been a missed opportunity.

Fitbit introduced its own smartwatch in 2017 but it has failed to keep pace with the Apple Watch, introduced in 2015. Fitbit also claims to operate one of the world's largest social fitness networks and databases of health and fitness data, and its platform includes software and interactive tools, including the Fitbit and Fitbit Coach apps, and the Fitbit OS for smartwatches.

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