January 11, 2017 6:01:13 pm
Fitbit has purchased Vector Watch, a one-year-old smartwatch brand based in Romania and operated out of London. The details of the deal have not yet been disclosed, but Vector said no new smartwatches would be announced under its own brand. Vector is best known for its smartwatches with a proprietary OS and 30-day battery life.
“We are happy to announce that the Vector Watch team and our software platform are joining Fitbit, the leader in the connected health and fitness market,” Vector said in a press statement. “We believe this is an important milestone as a moment when we will start building other new and amazing products, features and experiences, incorporating our unique technology and knowhow with Fitbit’s experience and global community,” it said.
All Vector smartwatches will work as usual and customer support will be offered, but no new features would be added. In addition, hardware-based issues, warranty-related queries and other such matters will continue to be addressed.
Vector is a second smartwatch company Fitbit has acquired within a few months. In December last year, Fitbit acquired famed smartwatch maker Pebble for close to $40 million. At that time, the intention was to get Pebble’s software expertise and not the company’s hardware business or hire its core employees. However, in the case of Vector, Fitbit not just acquired Vector Watch’s software but hired its employees as well.
Fitbit is a leader in the fitness-centric wearables segment, but it lacks the necessary expertise in making a true smartwatch that could rival Apple Watch and Samsung Gear S3. Even though Fitbit does have a smartwatch in the form of the Blaze, but it’s not really “smart” in true sense.
It all shows that Vector might be working with Fitbit to come with a smartwatch in the coming months. In January this year, Fitbit CEO James Park, in an interview with The Verge, confirmed that the company plans to launch its own app store “as soon as possible”, which indicated that a new smartwatch is around the corner. It also appears that Fitbit would be building the app store using some assets when it acquired Pebble last month. Pebble was an established smartwatch maker with over 14,000 third-party apps in its app store.
With both Pebble and Vector under its kitty, Fitbit can think of entering into the smartwatch with a bang. It should not take too long to see a Fitbit-branded smartwatch.
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