Credit: C. Scott Brown / Android Authority
- The long-gestating Google Fitbit deal is now complete.
- In its announcement of the news, Google emphasized that the deal is about “devices, not data.”
- Fitbit’s CEO also emphasized that user data will not be used for Google’s ad revenue, and assured users many of the things they know and love will stay the same.
Today, both Google and Fitbit formally announced the former’s acquisition of the latter. This deal has been in the works for over a year now. It positions Fitbit as a Google company but independent in operation. This is not unlike how Nest had been for several years after its acquisition in 2014.
Rick Osterloh penned Google’s announcement of the deal. In his letter, he emphasized that “users’ health and wellness data won’t be used for Google ads.” He also explained that this is a binding commitment to make the deal happen, which means it is not a hollow promise.
Likewise, Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park penned a similar letter detailing the deal. In his statement, he used the exact same language as Osterloh to assure users that Google won’t be using people’s health data for monetary gain.
Google Fitbit deal: What could it mean?
In his letter, Osterloh said that this deal is about “devices, not data.” This is probably the most important statement surrounding this acquisition. It heavily suggests that Google is looking to Fitbit to bolster its wearable hardware ambitions more than anything else.
The wearable market has never seen a Google-branded device, even though the market is booming. There have long been rumors of a so-called Pixel Watch, but they’ve never materialized. With the Wear OS platform stagnant, this Google Fitbit deal is an easy solution to the big G’s biggest problem in wearables: no hardware.
Fitbit has already brought Google Assistant to its two biggest 2020 launches: the Fitbit Sense and Fitbit Versa 3. Going forward, we can expect to see Assistant and other Google products appear on Fitbit devices.
In his letter, Park makes it clear that “many of the things you know and love about Fitbit will remain the same.” However, it’s only a matter of time before Fitbit becomes more and more Google-ified. We’ll need to wait and see how that pans out.