Google Buys Fitbit
Written by Alex Denham   
Monday, 04 November 2019

Google is buying Fitbit, the wearable devices company, for $2.1 billion. Google's own offering in the wearable market, Wear OS, has been unsuccessful in breaking into the smartwatch market.

While the Fitbit brand has strong user loyalty and is probably the most recognizable name among sport tracking devices, Apple has the largest market share among smart watches and is still gaining, while at the budget end their rivals include Amazon tracker and Huawei.

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Google's Rick Osterloh,Senior Vice President, Devices & Services said that the company sees this as an:

"an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market."

He also said that by working closely with Fitbit’s team of experts, and bringing together the best AI, software and hardware, Google can

"help spur innovation in wearables and build products to benefit even more people around the world."

Many people have been upset at the thought that Google now has access to all the data users have stored in Fitbits. The view is that Google's advertising arm may well find the information too attractive not to exploit. In an attempt to stave off the criticism, Google has promised not to see Fitbit data or to use it for targeting ads to Fitbit users, saying:

Privacy and security are paramount. When you use our products, you're trusting Google with your information. We understand this is a big responsibility and we work hard to protect your information, put you in control and give you transparency about your data. Similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why. We will never sell personal information to anyone. Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data.

For developers, what will be interesting will be how Wear OS and the Fitbit software are used together on Fitbit's smartwatch options such as Fitbit Versa. A more open development market could open up opportunities for app development.

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More Information

Fitbit Homepage

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Last Updated ( Monday, 04 November 2019 )