Google may be looking to seriously bolster the fitness-tracking capabilities of any upcoming wearable devices that it’s working on. According to a new report from Reuters, Google’s parent company, Alphabet, has made an offer to acquire Fitbit.
Further details about the deal have yet to be revealed. For example, we don’t yet know exactly how much Google has offered Fitbit in the acquisition, though considering the fact that Fitbit is a relatively large company with an established user base, it could be in the multibillions of dollars.
The deal would make sense. Google has been rumored to be working on a so-called Pixel Watch for years now, however it has yet to officially release the device to the public. Considering the popularity of the Apple Watch, which puts a heavy focus on fitness tracking, Google would likely want any upcoming wearables to be able to track fitness just as well.
While Fitbit helped pioneer the way for fitness tracking, the company has been under threat by alternatives like the Apple Watch, which can track fitness just as well, but also emphasizes design, and can work as a day-to-day smartwatch. Fitbit has released full-on smartwatches of its own, but they don’t necessarily tie as neatly into Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android systems. Apple captured more than half of the global smartwatch market in 2018 when it comes to units shipped, according to a report from Strategy Analytics.
Of course, while Google may have offered to buy Fitbit, there’s no guarantee that Fitbit will accept the deal. It’s also possible that Fitbit could come back with a counteroffer, If a deal is indeed on the table, it could be a matter of months before it’s actually announced. Even if the Fitbit deal doesn’t go through, we expect Google to eventually, finally, enter the wearables market — though it will likely be with a more fleshed-out smartwatch that can compete with the likes of the Apple Watch. The device will likely put Google Assistant front-and-center.
We’ve reached out to Google and Fitbit for a comment, and will update this story when we hear back.
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