back to article Wearable eats wearable: Fitbit 'to buy Pebble' with a steal of a deal

Crowdfunding hero and smart bling pioneer Pebble is about to be acquired by Fitbit. The Information was first with the story, and subsequent reports suggest the price is modest: around $35 to $40m. The company launched its first smartwatch under the Pebble name on Kickstarter in 2012 after Vancouver engineering student Eric …

  1. Halfmad

    OH dear

    My experience of fitbit has not been great, let's hope they can't mess up Pebble too much.

    1. joed

      Re: OH dear

      "let's hope they can't mess up Pebble too much." Don't worry. There's not too much to mess up.

    2. thomas k

      Re: OH dear

      According to the article, Pebble did a good job of doing that themselves.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    What I'm seeing around me...

    ...people are sticking with their current device, but as they fall, most are tending to either dump them or carry on with fitbit, but keeping with the same spec i.e. a current lower end model.

    Those that are actually upgrading to a higher spec one, seem to be choosing Garmin.

  3. Champ

    Sad

    I'm a little saddened by this.

    I was a backer on the first Pebble Kickstarter campaign, and was really taken with my original Pebble. So much so, that I then backed their second Kickstarter, and got a Pebble Time (and Pebble Steel). I liked the fact that they ploughed their own furrow, and we had a different choice from the Apple & Samsung juggernauts (...and I have a pathalogical hatred of Apple,too).

    But I guess the economic facts of life apply to everyone <sigh>

  4. Dan 55 Silver badge

    Oh damn

    I was thinking of a Pebble for Christmas.

    Fitbit will probably end up knocking the non-fitness watches on the head.

  5. James 51

    The pebble steel is a great smart watch. It's good at notifications, five day battery and doesn't have any bloat to get in the way. I imagine fitbit will raid the patent portfolio , kill th watch off but hope they prove prove wrong.

  6. Berny Stapleton

    I hope they keep it going

    I'm getting the Time 2 when it comes out, but it might be my last smart watch... I've never wanted any of the other ones due to battery constraints. The time steel has been a fantastic bit of kit, but it's not hold up as well as I'd hoped.

  7. fatbuddha

    What a pity if this happens. I was an original backer on Kickstarter and on subsequent ones like Time Steel and Round, so me and the missus have 4 pebbles between us. They recently replaced my wife's Round after it went uptits in the rain - customer service was very good.

    But I think the move to them becoming more health oriented has lost the differentiation between Pebble and other smart watches and frankly they should have stuck with the original simplicity of the offering. But tech is a fickle market and when the big boys get stuck into an emerging sector then the small innovators are too often the losers.

    One can hope that the originals become collectors items in due course!

    1. D@v3

      Customer service

      I have been a Kickstarter backer for both the original and the Time. Have my time on my wrist at the moment, very happy with it. One thing that I can say for them is their customer service has been excellent.

      My first gen, kickstarter backed watch started suffering issues with 'screen tearing' a couple of emails and some photos later, and a new one was in the post to me. Any software issues have been quickly addressed.

      It is odd, because, thinking about it, I have had far more problems with my Pebbles, than anything else I own, but the customer service has been so good, that I haven't really noticed.

      Will be a shame to see them go, but, I guess it was kind of inevitable. Maybe we'll see some FitBit Pebbles....

  8. Don Dumb
    Facepalm

    That's your problem right there

    "The company launched its first smartwatch under the Pebble name on Kickstarter in 2012 after Vancouver engineering student Eric Migovsky found it was difficult to read Blackberry alerts while cycling."

    You're in control of a vehicle Eric, how about paying attention?

    And that to me seems to be the problem with all these wearables - as you really should *not* be reading while cycling.

    I'm guessing that if the police cracks-down on people using their phones whilst driving, we will see many more people having a good look at their smartphones while crashing, definitely not reading text messages.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: That's your problem right there

      Ever thought he may of heard the text in his backback and didn't want the hassle of getting it out?

      I use my all the time, if I'm running and I get a text, phone call or alert, I can glance at the watch at the watch and see if it's worth bothering with or not.

      1. Don Dumb

        Re: That's your problem right there

        @Lost all faith - "Ever thought he may of heard the text in his backback and didn't want the hassle of getting it out?"

        YES. That is the point.

        If you are in control of a vehicle, and a bicycle is one, then you shouldn't be reading texts, it is rare people are riding on an empty cycle path with no other people or animals and a surface so dependable that you don't need to keep your eyes on what's ahead.

        I recognise that he may 'intend' to stop, read the text without getting his phone out and then carry on - but somehow I doubt that is what he or anybody else really would do. Far too many car drivers don't bother to stop whilst they read their phone, I'm guessing cyclists wouldn't either.

  9. phuzz Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Just picked up a Pebble 2 recently, and apart from it randomly disconnecting from my phone every day, it's great.

    I guess that bug is never going to get fixed now :(

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Happy

      Apart from it not working properly, its great.

      How our standards have slipped.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sad news

    Had OG Pebble which worked pretty well (although disconnected a lot) until the vibration motor broke, rendering it useless IMHO. I looked at the nice Round, but the price was fantasy land sadly.

    Picked up 3rd hand Android wear device for £80 and it works quite well.

  11. John Styles

    Grrrrrrrr.

    This actually, at the advanced age of 52, will be the first bit of technology I will be really pissed off if I can't replace it like for like as I'm not convinced anything else is as good (I have a Garmin for running but it is too large and the power usage is too large to use as a watch, and the ones that do more just seem a bit physically ugly and have an ugly UI). I had an early Pebble and the build quality was crap and the thing to hold the charging lead to it was too feeble, but the Pebble Time is a thing of beauty.

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