You might have heard through the grapevine about Google’s plan to acquire Fitbit. Well, the deal’s done for $2.1 billion and its officially confirmed by Rick Osterloh, Google’s Senior VP of Devices and Services. He announced the agreement with Fitbit and outlined how wearables fit into Google’s ambient computing vision.
Google Fitbit acquisition: Implications and Concerns
To be clear, Fitbit will be part of Google and not be a separate Alphabet entity.
Fitbit is an established fitness-centric smart wearable brand and as such, the purchase by Google is a no-brainer. This will further strengthen its ecosystem. Rick agrees to the Fitbit purchase as “an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.”
However, this has stirred privacy concerns since now Fitbit user’s health data will flow to Google, the biggest digital ad company. This would be around 27 million active user data. However, the smartwatch maker has come forward in its defense saying, “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.”
Over the years, Google was struggling to make a dent in the wearable market with Wear OS and Google Fit. This should probably work in favor of Google or will it? From outside, one may think Google bought Fitbit for the hardware to instill its own Wear OS. That could be true. Still and all, the real acquisition might be of the engineers and the technological patents from Fitbit.
Google has made similar moves in the past with Fossil and Misfit. Anyhow, let’s cross our fingers in hope of a strong contender against the Apple Watch series. If there’s an area where Apple’s ahead by a margin, its got to be its smartwatch lineup.
Fun Fact: Facebook was also considering to buy Fitbit. Google trumped the privacy-guardian by doubling its offer.