Alphabet-owned Google has agreed to buy wearable device maker Fitbit for $2.1 billion.
Google said on Friday that it sees an opportunity to introduce its own wearable devices and invest more in digital health. The purchase will also bring a rich trove of health data gathered by millions of Fitbit’s devices.
Fitbit’s fitness trackers and other devices monitor users’ daily steps, calories burned and distance traveled. They also measure floors climbed, sleep duration and quality, and heart rate.
Fitbit’s share of the fitness tracking market has been threatened by deeper-pocketed companies such as Apple Inc and Samsung Electronics Co Ltd as well as cheaper offerings from China’s Huawei Technologies Co Ltd [HWT.UL] and Xiaomi Corp.
“We believe Google is a natural fit. The deep health and fitness data, coupled with the 28 million active users on the Fitbit platform, offer a tremendous value,” Craig Hallum analysts wrote in a note.
Xiaomi dominates the global wearables market, with a 17.3% market share in the second quarter of 2019, followed by Apple. Fitbit owns 10% of the market, according to data from market research firm International Data Corp.
Reuters first reported the deal on Monday.
Google decision to buy Fitbit
Google believe technology is at its best when it can fade into the background, assisting you throughout your day whenever you need it. Wearable devices, like smartwatches and fitness trackers, do just that—you can easily see where your next meeting is with just a glance of an eye or monitor your daily activity right from your wrist.
Over the years, Google has made progress with partners in this space with Wear OS and Google Fit, but we see an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market. Fitbit has been a true pioneer in the industry and has created engaging products, experiences and a vibrant community of users. 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.
Google aspires to create tools that help people enhance their knowledge, success, health and happiness. This goal is closely aligned with Fitbit’s long-time focus on wellness and helping people live healthier, more active lives. But to get this right, 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.