In a somewhat unsurprising bit of news, Google has announced that it's acquiring Fitbit, one of the most popular wearable manufacturers in the world, confirming reports from earlier in the week. In its own announcement to investors, Fitbit said Google paid $7.35 per share in cash, valuing the company at around $2.1 billion.
Google says the acquisition provides an opportunity to further its investment in the Wear OS ecosystem, including the potential to make its own wearable hardware in the future. Google already has a decent variety of hardware products, including the Pixel and Nest lines of devices, and wearables could be an important part of the ecosystem.
For Fitbit, the deal seems to be a necessity in order to stay afloat, as its devices have been falling behind in terms of market share. James Park, CEO of Fitbit commented on the deal, saying:
“More than 12 years ago, we set an audacious company vision – to make everyone in the world healthier. Today, I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve achieved towards reaching that goal. We have built a trusted brand that supports more than 28 million active users around the globe who rely on our products to live a healthier, more active life (...). Google is an ideal partner to advance our mission. With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster, and make health even more accessible to everyone. I could not be more excited for what lies ahead.”
Google's Wear OS has had some trouble taking off, and just a few weeks ago, it looked like the Mountain View giant had given up on making its own hardware for that platform. The software itself hasn't received a ton of improvements over the years, but it seems like Google wants to change that, as a separate blog post states that it's "hard at work" on what's next. We'll have to wait and see how those efforts pan out.