Following recent rumors, it’s now official: Google’s parent company Alphabet is buying Fitbit. The deal values Fitbit at around $2.1 billion and is set to close in 2020, subject to Fitbit stockholder and regulatory approval.
That’s likely good news for Fitbit fans, as it puts the might of Google behind it in the contest against the Apple Watch – a contest which Fitbit has been struggling with. But the most exciting part of this deal could be what it means for Wear OS.
Following the announcement, Rick Osterloh (Google’s Senior Vice President of Devices & Services) said in a blog post: “we see an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.”
That makes it sound a lot like we might see a Wear OS device made by Google – as well as new Fitbit devices. The Google Pixel Watch has long been rumored, and with the expertise and staff gained through acquiring Fitbit it might finally become a reality.
Whether it does or not, it certainly sounds like Google is renewing its commitment to Wear OS and to the wearable space in general. That’s reassuring given that Google’s smartwatch platform has also struggled a little, receiving few meaningful updates, and with most smartphone makers either ignoring the wearable space or using alternative software, such as Samsung with Tizen.
It remains to be seen exactly how much impact this deal will actually have, but it has the potential to reinvigorate the smartwatch landscape. We’ll be sure to let you know once we hear what this means for current and future Fitbit products, and for Wear OS.