Just a couple of months after striking a deal with smartwatch developer Pebble for most of its tech assets, Fitbit (NYSE: FIT) has added another smart wearables manufacturer to the fold with the acquisition of Vector. Financial details of the deal for the privately held company were not disclosed.
According to Vector, Fitbit will be integrating the acquisition's team and its software platform -- similar to what it did after buying Pebble. They intend to "start building other new and amazing products, features and experiences, incorporating [Vector's] unique technology and knowhow with Fitbit's experience and global." Vector added that it will continue to provide support for its current smartwatch owners; however, it will add no new features to those devices.
The purchase of Vector is timely given Fitbit's recently announced plans to open a full-fledged app store for its devices later this year. This latest acquisition will likely add fuel to speculations that it's exploring the possibility of entering the full-feature smartwatch wars, challenging the likes of Apple and Samsung.
Based on its nearly 6% stock price decline by the close of trading Tuesday, it appears investors are less than enamored with Fitbit's latest deal, and for good reason. Though pundits have long predicted a skyrocketing market for smartwatches, they have yet to strike a chord with consumers broadly.
Low-cost fitness trackers from Garmin,China-based Xiaomi, and industry-leader Fitbit, currently dominate the market, combining for nearly 50% of total sales in 2016's third quarter. Smartwatches from the Apple and Samsung were a distant fourth and fifth, respectively.
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