Fitbit today announced that it has acquired specific assets of Pebble, including key personnel and intellectual property related to software and firmware development. The acquisition excludes the company’s hardware products.

“With basic wearables getting smarter and smartwatches adding health and fitness capabilities, we see an opportunity to build on our strengths and extend our leadership position in the wearables category,” said James Park, CEO and co-founder of Fitbit, in a statement. “With this acquisition, we’re well positioned to accelerate the expansion of our platform and ecosystem to make Fitbit a vital part of daily life for a wider set of consumers, as well as build the tools healthcare providers, insurers and employers need to more meaningfully integrate wearable technology into preventative and chronic care.”

The Pebble transaction was completed on December 6.

“Fitbit Inc., the fitness band maker, has acquired software assets from struggling smartwatch startup Pebble Technology Corp., a move that will help it better compete with Apple Inc.,” Mark Gurman and Olivia Zaleski report for Bloomberg.

“While Fitbit didn’t disclose terms of the acquisition, the price is less than $40 million, and Pebble’s debt and other obligations exceed that, two of the people said. Fitbit is not taking on the debt, one of the people said,” Gurman and Zaleski report. “The rest of Pebble’s assets, including product inventory and server equipment, will be sold off separately, some of the people said.”

“Grabbing Pebble’s software talent and other resources, like its developer relationships, may help Fitbit better compete with Apple’s Watch,” Gurman and Zaleski report. “Fitbit began sending job offers to about 40 percent of Pebble’s employees in the last week. Most of these are software engineers. Very few Pebble interface designers were offered jobs and hardware teams were not offered positions, the people said. Some staff who didn’t get an offer will be given severance packages, one of the people said. The deal will mean the Pebble stock held by employees is worthless, two of the people said. The money will instead go to debt holders, vendors, some of its main equity investors, and Kickstarter refunds for the Time 2 and Pebble Core orders, the people said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Watch, killer.

SEE ALSO:
Apple Watch has blood on its hands: ‘Microsoft Band’ wearable is dead – October 4, 2016
Computerworld reviews Apple Watch Series 2: It’s time to jump in – September 27, 2016
Ars Technica reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Great experience with very few hiccups’ – September 22, 2016
Mossberg reviews Apple’s watchOS 3: Quicker, easier, and more useful – September 21, 2016
CNET reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘The smooth wrist companion it was always meant to be’ – September 14, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Apple Watch finds its purpose in life’ – September 14, 2016
The Verge reviews Apple Watch Series 2: There’s something effortlessly cool about it – September 14, 2016
Apple Watch Series 2: Apple refocuses its smartwatch – September 12, 2016

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “Fred Mertz” and “Dasgeek” for the heads up.]