Apple (AAPL) has acquired Beddit, the Finnish maker of a $150 health-monitoring device that tackles insomnia by tracking sleep quality, heart rates, breathing, bedroom temperatures and snoring levels.
Beddit, which didn’t disclose the full terms of the acquisition, first started selling its products in Apple stores late in 2015. At this stage it's still unclear whether Apple plans to continue selling Beddit devices, or if it seeks to use its technology to launch a future Apple-branded product. The Beddit 3 Sleep Monitor is still for sale on the Apple Store page.
TechCrunch doesn’t believe that an Apple-branded sleep-tracking device will appear in stores anytime soon, but also adds that the California-based giant rarely acquires companies that continue to operate independently. (See also: Apple Tops $800 Billion Market Cap for First Time.)
Beddit’s latest device, the Beddit 3, consists of a thin strip of sensors that fit between a bed’s mattress and sheets. Retailing at $150, the Beddit 3 is designed to analyze various sleep-related data and provides users with a score, so that they can understand how to get a good night’s rest in the future. The device works with iOS apps and the Apple Watch.
Apple Piles Pressure on Fitbit
Apple’s decision late last year to start marketing its watch around health and fitness turned out to be a big success — sales last quarter were almost double the prior-year period. By tackling insomnia, an issue which reportedly affects up to half of the U.S. population, Apple should be even better placed to continue piling pressure on its main rival in the market Fitbit (FIT). (See also: Fitbit, Apple Still Dominate in Wearables.)
Fitbit’s wearables offer multi-day battery life, making it easier for users to monitor their sleeping patterns. In contrast, the Apple Watch's battery generally only lasts a day, meaning they are often recharged overnight, rather than used to track sleeping habits.