Fitbit is in the news. Fitbit is a pioneer company in the fitness tracker and wearable technology market and Google is buying this company for $2.1 billion. Google’s parent company Alphabet shall buy Fitbit, putting this tech giant with Apple. The stock of Fitbit surged 16 percent and the Alphabet’s shares surged about 0.8 percent.
This will definitely help Google but it will not be the only player and it will have to catch up to Samsung, Apple, and other players in multiple ways. This is an excellent thing when you can purchase a fitness tracker company.
Fitbit is in the wearable fitness technology business and is making a huge range of devices which have become essential accessories right from the basic trackers, which count the number of steps you take daily to smartwatches, which display notifications and messages from phones.
The accessories can track activities including cycling, running, recording heart rates, swimming, and sleep patterns. It works for the gender, date of birth, weight, and height so that it can help with things including estimating the calories burned. Many people use its app for recording what they eat and the quantity of water they drink. With the help of Fitbit, women can keep track of their periods. Fitbit accounts for more than 28 million worldwide users and it has sold over 100 million devices.
Why did Google buy Fitbit?
Google makes software that is used in the wearable devices of other manufacturers; however, the products have not gained traction due to stiff competition from Apple, Fitbit, Samsung, and others. Google does not sell any device. Google’s deal with Fitbit to buy Fitbit gave Google a good boost. Google did not wish to be left out. It wanted to do what Apple has done with the wearables.
By working with the experts of Fitbit and by bringing together the best software, hardware, and AI, Google can bring innovation in products and wearables to benefit more and more people. Google is committed to the ecosystem partners and it is planning to work with Fitbit closely and combine the best of fitness tracker and smartwatch platforms.
Privacy is an issue
Google has pledged that it will not sell ads through Fitbit health data. It is a continuous promise made by Fitbit previously. According to a health privacy expert, people who have enrolled themselves in a wellness program who use Fitbit devices may lose control over the data. A person did not have concerns regarding Fitbit holding the data but has concerns Google holding his data. The promise made by Google is not likely to stop to gather information from Fitbit.
Fitbit has GPS that can track the location of users. This can help Google to know whether a runner has stopped somewhere on the way home. When you have Google devices on your wrist, you can drive wearers using Google services thus giving the company an opportunity to sell ads.
This deal has initiated scrutiny from U.S. Department and investigation is going on to see whether Google has abused its market power.