Google has really begun to focus more on hardware in recent years, which isn’t much of a surprise since it’s the only other company at the moment that’s capable of pulling off what Apple has. By controlling the hardware and software sides of its products, devices like iPhones and the Apple Watch offer experiences that are far smoother and more seamless than what we’ve seen out of Android vendors. Google is doing its best to replicate that with its Pixel line, though it hasn’t seen much success thus far in the grand scheme of things. It has done much better with its Nest smart home devices though, and now Google is looking to find similar success with another big acquisition. The company on Friday announced that it has acquired leading wearables maker Fitbit for $2.1 billion.
“Today, we’re announcing that Google has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Fitbit, a leading wearables brand,” said Google Senior Vice President of Devices and Services Rick Osterloh in a blog post on Friday. “We 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.”
Osterloh continued, “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.”
The acquisition is an all-cash deal totaling $2.1 billion. As for privacy, Google says it will not sell any data to third parties. Of course, that obviously leaves the door open for Google to use any data associated with Fitbit devices for its own targetting.