Google buys Fitbit for $2.1B to integrate smartwatch hardware for Wear OS

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Google has acquired fitness wearables leader, Fitbit for $2.1 billion last 1st November 2019. We know you have tons of questions and we’re excited to see how this unfolds but here’s what we know so far:

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NEW HARDWARE FOR WEAR OS

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Wear OS is Google’s creation for smartwatches; however, Google does not make the actual hardware leaving it to third party manufacturers. This marks a prime opportunity for Google to have control of the smartwatch itself.  

Google Senior Vice President of devices and services, Rick Osterloh mentioned that the Fitbit purchase is “an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.”

Wear OS has been in the market for 5 years and now but never really gained much traction in the market as far as a smartwatch is concerned. It’s a great move by Google to up their game in this aspect. 

FITBIT PRIVACY REMAINS UNCHANGED

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Fitbit released a press release reassuring that health and fitness data are taken seriously and will not be used for Google ads, Osterloh confirmed.

There are more than 28 million active users on Fitbit globally, whose data are stored in their fitness trackers, data about sleep, exercise, heart rates and activity patterns. Google has downplayed privacy implications and affirms that users will be able to review, move or delete their Fitbit health data.

APPLE WATCH CONTENDER

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It’s too soon to make any assumptions but if any smartwatch that can rival the Apple Watch, it’ll likely be this Google duo.

Fitbit’s solid hardware will give Google a strong anchor to build on for future Android-integrated wearable devices. It’s natural to assume that the company’s fitness tracking could be merged with the Google Fit apps offering a competitive alternative to the Apple Watch’s deep fitness tracking integration with the iPhone.

Outside brings up a fair point which we’d like to reiterate about the Apple Watch vs Wear OS:

“Apple may make the best and most ubiquitous smartwatch, but if someone sees a health and fitness tracking band on your wrist, they’ll assume it’s a Fitbit. In contrast, most people out there have never heard of Wear OS. That’s another benefit of the acquisition.”

GOOGLE’S CHALLENGER FOR FITBIT BUY

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Fitbit has been on sale for about a month and interesting to note that another worthy opponent had made an offer to Fitbit as well. Facebook reportedly made an offer that was about half of Google’s, sources mentioned that Facebook has been pushing big into hardware lately and in the healthcare lane.

Google came out the winner in this bid but imagine if Facebook had Fitbit’s data at their fingertips. Perhaps, let’s not… Imagine that, we mean.

 GOOGLE’S PREVIOUS PURCHASE

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It’s clear that Google is pumping funds into fitness-focused wearables this year alone. In January, Google spent $40 million on smartwatch technology from Fossil which combines digital and analogue features. Internally it was named Project Diana (combined both Digital and Analogue).

The $40 million covered a license to use Diana tech and over 20 engineers who were acquired by Fossil in its own $260 million acquisition of Misfit in 2015.

ESIM IN SMARTWATCHES

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As the wearable Internet of Things (IoT) continues to develop, its capabilities grow too. Smartwatches like:

Samsung Gear S2 Classic 3G

Samsung Gear S3 Frontier LTE

Apple Watch Series 3 GPS And Cellular Version

Apple Watch Series 4 GPS And Cellular Version

Samsung Galaxy Watch LTE

Huawei Watch 2 4G LTE

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…Continue to lead the way for eSIM capabilities in a wearable device. This embedded SIM allows you to switch between carriers and have multiple accounts. We recommend giving our Flexiroam eSIM a try!


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