With rumours swirling for the past week regarding Fitbit purchasing Pebble for a reported sum of approximately $40 million USD, Pebble has finally confirmed that it plans to shutter operations because it’s no longer able to operate as an “independent entity.”
Though the fact that the company’s assets have been acquired by Fitbit isn’t emphasized int he blog post, it seems the fitness-focused wearable company is purchasing Pebble. Pebble, however, says that many members of its team, particularly in the engineering department, will continue to work with Fitbit and that this close collaboration will result in the Pebble user experience continuing to operate as normal.
“We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices. This news has several major implications, and we hope to answer as many questions as possible here, in Kickstarter Update #17, and on our Support site,” reads a blog post written by Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky.
Specifically, Pebble say that it’s “no longer promoting, manufacturing, or selling any devices.” The company, however, also says that Pebble devices will continue to operate as normal and that there will be no changes to the user experience, though it does mention that “functionality” and “service quality may be reduced in the future.” It’s likely that at least for the time being users will be able to download apps from Pebble’s apps tore.
“While dissolving Pebble as you know today is difficult, I am happy to announce that many members of Team Pebble will be joining the Fitbit family to continue their work on wearable software platforms. Pebble’s successful approach to third-party wearable development is undeniable, and Fitbit is welcoming our expertise in this space wholeheartedly,” reads an excerpt from Migicovsky’s post.
Kickstarter backers who haven’t received their devices yet, including the Pebble 2, which has already been released, and the Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core, will reportedly receive a full refund within four to eight weeks as a chargeback on their credit cards.
In an interview with MobileSyrup from 2015, Migicovsky said, “Pebble has money. We make products that get better over time, that do a couple things really well.” At one point Pebble’s founder also claimed that his company’s sales have doubled since the launch of the Apple Watch.