Google has finally forayed into smartwatches by acquiring Californian watchmaker Fitbit for $2.1 billion. The search giant announced the big news in its blog. It was rumored for a long time that Google was in talks to seal the deal with Fitbit. Rick Osterloh, Google SVP of devices and services said that the Fitbit purchase is “an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market.”
The deal states that Fitbit will join Google itself. It’s the same situation as Nest, which is under Google now but when Alphabet had originally acquired it, it was left as an individual division set under the corporate structure.
A separate press release that was issued by Fitbit states that the company will still take the privacy for health and fitness data seriously and emphasizing that “Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads.”
Some Fitbit owners are worrying as they think Google will now own the intimate information about their weight, sleep, and menstrual cycles, along with heart rate and daily step count. These kinds of data often include location information which Fitbit uses to map the users’ workout details as well as links to Facebook and Twitter.
James Park, co-founder, and CEO of Fitbit said, “Google was an ideal partner. With Google’s resources and global platform, Fitbit will be able to accelerate innovation in the wearables category, scale faster and make health even more accessible to everyone.”
This deal makes so much sense seeing Google remarkably failed to make a mark in the world of wearables, even though its Wear OS platform powers a lot of smartwatches. If the deal is approved, it is expected to close next year.