Fitbit has officially bought smartwatch market newcomer Vector Watch. The news of the acquisition came mostly out of left field, simply popping up on Vector Watch’s website with little fanfare. The details of the deal – as far as things like the price that Fitbit paid – weren’t revealed, but Vector Watch did put an FAQ up on their website alongside the announcement to make things a bit more clear for users. First and foremost, new streams, or activities for the watches, cannot be created. New watch faces, however, can still be created and submitted for approval. Vector Watch will not be adding any new software features to their two watch models, but will continue to keep them up to date so that they continue to function with new hardware and software hitting the smartphone market for the foreseeable future. Developers, on the other hand, can continue to update faces and streams that they have published. Furthermore, customer support and all applicable warranties will continue.
In many ways, the shutdown mirrors that of Pebble, albeit with a few less negatives. Pebble continues to do the bare minimum to keep their ecosystem alive while allowing users to do the hard work, and it seems that Vector Watch will be doing much the same thing. For Fitbit’s part, they’re mostly staying quiet about the acquisition. New features added to their trackers in recent days and weeks indicate that they are already beginning to see their purchase of Pebble pay off, and it’s likely that things will be similar with Vector Watch. It still remains to be seen whether Fitbit will manufacture a full-on smartwatch themselves, but they are bringing a good number of smartwatch features, like rich notification responses and social aspects, to their fitness tracker lineup.
Vector Watch, since their first model hit the market back in 2015, has been known for premium smartwatches that put battery life at the forefront of the spec sheet while offering up a number of features. Fitbit, on the other hand, has long been known for powerful and feature-rich fitness trackers, rather than smartwatches. Their recent acquisition of Pebble marked a bit of a shift for the fitness wearable outfit, and it’s likely that their newly announced acquisition of Vector Watch will bode more of the same. Having blended with Pebble, whose own claim to fame is affordable, semi-premium smartwatches with long battery life and a user-driven feature set, Fitbit’s acquisitions are beginning to show a pattern that could tell us a bit about their future plans