Pebble, one of the first producers of the smartwatch, has announced that it is closing its doors and selling its software to rival smartwatch maker Fitbit.
This may not come as a surprise to some -- but if you’re one of the 2 million people who own a Pebble smartwatch, there are some things you’ll want to know.
Pebble shutting down and joining Fitbit
In a statement on the Pebble blog, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky announced they “have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices.”
According to Fitbit, the company has only “acquired specific assets of Pebble.” However, this does not include any of their hardware products. Which means, anyone who pre-ordered the Pebble 2 will no longer receive their orders. Pebble explained that any Kickstarter backers that supported the Time 2 and Pebble Core will be refunded, but that could be as late as March 2017—nearly a year after many backers sent their cash to the project.
All Pebble warranties are now void
The bad news doesn’t stop there. According to Pebble, if you currently own a Pebble device, the company warns that while it won’t stop working immediately, “the functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future” -- meaning no more software updates or bug fixes. Pebble also announced that the “one-to-one Pebble Support” is no longer available and “any Pebble currently out in the wild is no longer covered by or eligible for warranty exchange.” This means, no matter when you purchased your device, if something goes wrong, you’re left out in the cold.
Smartwatches are getting smarter
Fitbit recently moved from the market of fitness wearables to smartwatches with its introduction of the Blaze earlier this year. The new software acquired from Pebble will help them better compete against the Apple Smartwatch which, according to Forbes, accounted for 52% of smartwatch shipments globally in 2015.
"With basic wearables getting smarter and smartwatches adding health and fitness capabilities, we see an opportunity to build on our strengths and extend our leadership position in the wearables category,” said James Park, chief executive officer and co-founder of Fitbit.
Although smaller companies, like Pebble, are dying off, it doesn’t mean the wearable trend is too. Researchers from the IDC note that the market for wearables is still growing, but consumers are gravitating more towards bigger bands like Apple and Fitbit.