After years of rumors, Google seems to be taking smartwatches very seriously. The long-standing Pixel Watch, developed by the same industrial design team behind the likes of Pixel 4, Google Home and PixelBook, was apparently downloaded at the eleventh hour before being introduced to the stage during one of the Mountain View-based annual hardware showcases by the company.
It is not clear why the smart watch was taken out of the portfolio. However, it seems Google has decided that it is ready to think again.
Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc, has purchased the smart watch and fitness tracking manufacturer Fitbit for a whopping $ 2.1 billion. The company behind the wearables, including Fitbit Versa 2, Versa Lite, Charge 3 and related home products like Aria Smart Scales, will now report to Google's senior vice president of devices, Rick Osterloch.
Google SVP is already responsible for providing a unified approach to company design. Speaking about the acquisition, Osterloh said it was "an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS, as well as to bring Google-made wearable devices to the market."
Acquisition makes a lot of sense.
Google manages to create a very successful line of smartphones, with the Pixel 4 and 4 XL being the latest additions to the portfolio. Its connected home range, including Google Nest Mini, Nest Max and Nest Hub, is also enjoying huge success.
However, the California-based company is struggling to translate that success into other product lines, most notably its expensive PixelBook range or its (currently) nonexistent wearable and smartwatch department.
Buying a Fitbit can change that overnight.
Fitbit has always been praised for its build quality and feature set. However, the company is battling increased competition for smart watch from high-end fitness trackers like Garmin, and the tight iith integration and design offered by brands such as Apple.
Working with Google will certainly allow Fitbit products ̵
Google Fit does not currently offer menstrual tracking, something Fitbit
Following the announcement of the acquisition, Fitbit issued a statement to reassure existing users that its new position inside the search giant would not change its data security position for health and fitness. It states, "Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads."
The latest move comes after Google announced in January a deal to buy $ 40 million worth of Fossil smartwatch technology. Fossil was already one of a handful of premium brands building smart watches on Google's open source operating system, Wear OS.
By combining the hardware know-how of the Fitbit team with the smartwatch technology used to power Fossil, Google can be created to create a truly competitive Pixel Watch to take the top-selling Apple Watch for the first time under the eye. by Rick Osterloch.