Fitbit paid $23 million for smartwatch maker Pebble. This buyout price is less than what was reported earlier. Pebble Technology Corporation developed a line of smartwatches including the first commercially successful smartwatch, the Pebble Smartwatch, before closing down in December 2016. It is a sad and final conclusion for a startup that managed to launch its hardware after a record-breaking crowdfunded campaign, captivating a niche crowd of early adopters and app developers with its unique smartwatches.
Pebble today confirmed that its software and services will continue to run through 2017. Fitbit will not drop support for existing Pebble devices right away. However, Fitbit will not promote or manufacture the existing lines but focus on developing ones.
Pebble SDK, CloudPebble, Timeline APIs, firmware availability, mobile apps, developer portal, and Pebble appstore are all elements of the Pebble ecosystem that will remain in service at this time. Pebble developers are welcome to keep creating and updating apps.
If you’re a Pebble owner, then, there’s no need to worry about your watch becoming defunct as soon as Pebble officially becomes a Fitbit company. However, it’s unclear just how useful your device will be after 2017.
Obviously your watch will continue to function for years to come, but it’s unlikely there will be any software updates after 2017, and existing Pebble services will probably be closed. That could mean the Pebble apps for Android and iOS die, too — along with the Pebble app store.