News of Pebble being taken over by Fitbit had been rumoured, but now it’s official – what does that mean for loyal users?
A few weeks back, rumours came about that the smart watch makers Pebble were possibly being taken over by Fitbit. I wrote about it here.
Well now it is official. A few days later I received an email from Pebble outlining what their intentions were. It claimed Pebble was joining Fitbit and that Pebble would cease manufacturing, promoting, or selling any new Pebble hardware, which includes accessories such as charging cables. Checking out their website, it still showcases their latest hardware, but it also has a banner stating they are no longer selling smartwatches.
I found this is little odd, as the have only just launched the Pebble 2 and Pebble Core, but any unfulfilled orders will be cancelled and payments refunded.
The email said that Pebble devices will continue to work as normal and no immediate changes to the Pebble user experience will happen at this time. According to the Pebble Blog ‘Fitbit will maintain services so that Pebble devices continue to work as normal. Pebble functionality and service may be reduced in the future.’
This rang alarm bells for me. It sounded like a stifled way of saying don’t expect much in the near future.
Fitbit must have bought Pebble for a reason. It can’t just be they were competition and wanted to stamp them out. I am hoping they will merge support teams and existing customers will be provided with continued support and future updates. After all, without future software updates or bug fixes, current users could be susceptible to security issues, and an iOS update could spell the end for Pebble fans if that update breaks compatibility.
I have an original Pebble, which I have owned for about a year. I bought it used. so for me I haven’t lost too much – but I feel sorry for those who recently purchased new kit only to find out the future is uncertain.
Will devices carry on working as they should? Will developers continue making software and watchfaces? Will the store continue to work?
There is still a lot of Pebble hardware out there being used and a lot of users unsure about their beloved wearable tech. I love mine and really have no panic inclination to jump platforms, but if it ceases to function as it should or loses support for future iOS/Android, then my Pebble may be turned off permanently.
Time will tell what the future holds for Pebble owners and what Fitbit decides to offer us.
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