After rumors just days ago that Google would purchase Fitbit, the two companies have gone public on an agreement. In it, Alphabet Inc. will pay $7.35 per share for the smartwatch maker, valuing it at $2.1 billion.
“Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created engaging products, experiences and a vibrant community of users,” said Google’s senior vice president of devices and services Rick Osterloh in a blog post. “By working closely with Fitbit’s team of experts, and bringing together the best AI, software and hardware, we can help spur innovation in wearables and build products to benefit even more people around the world.”
With the announcement, Google appeared to signal a renewed commitment to its Wear OS. However, despite its now close ties to the Android maker, Fitbit promised that it would remain platform agnostic across Android and iOS. It also vowed to keep user data private.
“Consumer trust is paramount to Fitbit. Strong privacy and security guidelines have been part of Fitbit’s DNA since day one, and this will not change,” it said in a press release. “Fitbit will continue to put users in control of their data and will remain transparent about the data it collects and why. The company never sells personal information, and Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.”
Judging by the statement of Fitbit CEO James Park, at least some future devices will run Wear OS. However, it seems Google is content to let the brand continue under its current guise for now, rather than acquiring it and instantly merging it with Alphabet.
Either way, it means Google will have Fitbit’s considerable talent in smartwatch hardware and software to hand. Though it’s made progress, Wear OS and general Android smartwatch offerings don’t yet match up to the likes of Apple.
Osterloh says the Fitbit acquisition will lead to the debut of Made by Google wearables, though the exact timeframe for that is entirely unclear. Whatever the case, the deal has had a very positive impact on Fitbit’s stock, which rose 30% shortly after the announcement.