Thursday, 8 December 2016

Pebble Gets Dropped: No More Smartwatches, Warranty Support


It isn't just Google who is having a troubling time in the wearables market. Pebble has failed to turn its mainly crowdfunded business into anything approaching a viable business and today concluded its much rumoured sale of assets to FitBit.

The latter gains Pebble's IP as well as the watch platform its devices run on. The price has been rumoured to be in the region of $40m - an amount which fails to cover the company's existing debt. The remaining parts of the business (presumably manufacturing and design assets) will be sold to cover the remaining debt and then Pebble will be gone.

Technical support and software maintenance are gone, more importantly warranty coverage ends here too. Unless you bought your Pebble retail (in a country with appropriate consumer protections) that brand new wearable will be junk the instant it breaks.

Whether FitBit will use these assets to introduce more smartwatches into its products remains to be seen. More likely it will stick with its mostly fitness tracker based range and look to slowly add Pebble features in.

For Pebble's customers its a very unhappy ending and probably serves as a warning against going with smaller companies for products that demand ongoing support.

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