Rumor mill: Fitbit is said to have been exploring the possibility of a sale for the last few months, as the wearable maker is feeling the squeeze from Apple, who has been a lot more successful at building smartwatches that people will actually buy. One of the prospective buyers is Google, who has similarly failed to capture the market with its Wear OS partnerships.
Google has reportedly made an offer to purchase wearable maker Fitbit. According to Reuters, the two companies are currently in talks about the exact amount, with the potential to become one of the biggest deals in the wearable world. The news has seen Fitbit's stock shoot up 30 percent as of writing, experiencing the most excitement the company has seen from investors in quite a while.
The insiders cited by Reuters said there's no guarantee the talks would be successful, but if Google manages to snap up Fitbit, it could gain access to the latter's expertise in fitness tracking. With Wear OS, Google tried to create a strong ecosystem for smartwatches in the same way it created the variety of Android smartphones we have today. However, even after a major redesign, Wear OS hasn't been able to find a solid place between Apple's premium smartwatches and the relatively cheap fitness trackers from Fitbit.
Google might be interested in building its own Pixel-branded smartwatch, a move that pundits have been pondering about for years. It's also worth mentioning the company acquired $40 million worth of smartwatch technology from Fossil in January, which could be seen as a good indicator of Google's ambitions.
If anything, it could fall in line with the company's general hardware strategy. You may recall when Google acquired part of HTC's smartphone division to work on Pixel phones. On the other hand, Fitbit already uses Google Cloud to power its software services, so the two companies do have a good starting point.
Fitbit tried to create a smartwatch with the $200 Versa but failed, and recently launched the second version that has a renewed focus on software. And while the company has seen some success with its premium subscription services this year, its hardware isn't selling as well as it could. On top of that, the company is scrambling to shift manufacturing out of China to avoid 10 percent import tariffs on its products.