Smartwatch maker Pebble, that pioneered wrist-based notifications before anyone else, has confirmed that it is shutting down as an independent entity.
The first rumors that FitBit would be acquiring Pebble emerged last month – According to sources, the price tag would be anywhere between $34 and $40 million. A figure that barely covered the startup’s debts. CEO Eric Migicovsky has published a blog post with official information regarding ‘Pebble’s next step’.
”Due to various factors—Pebble is no longer able to operate as an independent entity. We have made the tough decision to shut down the company and no longer manufacture Pebble devices”, Migicovsky writes. “While dissolving Pebble as you know today is difficult, I am happy to announce that many members of Team Pebble will be joining the Fitbit family to continue their work on wearable software platforms.”
In the blog post, Migicovsky also explains that existing devices will keep working as normal and that there will be no immediate changes to the user experience ‘at this time’.
”It is because of the close collaboration with the Fitbit team that the Pebble user experience will continue” he stresses in the post. He also warns that the ”functionality or service quality may be reduced in the future”.
It really sounds like this is the end of Pebble if FitBit decides to kill the smartwatch.
Kickstarter backers whose rewards have not yet been fulfilled will be getting a full refund, and warranty support for the devices has already been withdrawn.
“The team joining Fitbit will help the company accelerate development of the tools and resources devs need to enhance future Fitbit products with experiences that can take wearables to new heights of utility and appeal,” Migicovsky adds.
The Pebble dev community will stick around and get involved in the forthcoming Fitbit wearable “experiences” that they will now be working on. Pebble has raised over $15 million since being founded back in 2009, with most of it coming from the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.
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