Google confirmed on Friday that it has agreed to buy Fitbit, a health tracking device company, for a purchase price of $2.1 billion, a 19% premium to the latter’s closing offer on Thursday. The transaction is subject to approval by shareholders and regulators.
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Fitbit is the Biggest Google Acquisition
This is Google’s biggest acquisition since it acquired the smart home company Nest for $3.2 billion in 2014, which shows its determination and ambition.
Why did Google Buy Fitbit?
Almost all of this deal’s evaluations are inseparable from Apple’s name, which means that the two technology giants have finally had a head-on confrontation in the health field. Even though it started too late, Google even has Fitbit, and it is not so good to catch up with Apple. It’s easy, but Google has to get involved in the health field, and there is a way to compete with Apple Watch on the wrist. What’s more, Fitbit’s data of up to 28 million users is a valuable resource.
Of course, this batch of data is also controversial. Fitbit uses user health data to count workouts and bind to social networks like Facebook and Twitter. Some Fitbit users may be concerned about Google’s own weight, sleep, heart rate, etc., although both companies promise Fitbit’s user data will not be used for Google ads, users can migrate or delete data themselves.
How Google plans to renovate Fitbit for future
“By working closely with Fitbit’s team of experts and integrating the best AI, software, and hardware, we can help drive innovation in wearables and build products that benefit more people.” Rick, Senior Vice President, Google Devices and Services Osterloh, said in the acquisition statement.
In recent years, Google’s new products in the field of intelligence have been, Pixel mobile phones, smart speakers, smart thermostat Nest, smart camera Clips, and a variety of entertainment equipment, but in the field of wearables is still a blank.
In fact, before Apple introduced Apple Watch in 2014, Google first announced the Android Wear watch program, but it has lagged. So far, Google’s work on smartwatches has been limited to providing WearOS operating systems for other smartwatches. And this system still has many shortcomings compared to the increasingly mature watchOS; at least the difference between the two is definitely greater than Android and iOS.
Google Fitbit vs Apple Watch
Not to mention Apple Watch uses Apple’s self-developed chips and the various Android Wears on the market, in Wired’s words, “still need to rely on some of Qualcomm’s unremarkable products.”
Seeing that Apple has become the leader in wearable devices, Google seems to speed up catching up. Earlier this year, they spent $40 million to buy a fashion-related brand of Fossil, a technology related to smartwatches, but the technical content was not disclosed. Just as the HTC Smart Watch team’s acquisition to develop its own Pixel, the acquisition of Fitbit, which has already made a name in the health tracking field, will allow Google to catch up with competitors faster.