The US-based search engine giant Google has announced its intention to acquire the leading wearable brand Fitbit, but reportedly, Facebook was also interested in buying it. Facebook has also been expanding its hardware portfolio with Oculus virtual headsets, Portal smart speakers and planned AR glasses.
The move comes with Google seeking to expand beyond its core business of online search into hardware, and with Fitbit struggling against rivals including Apple.
While Fitbit was among the first to popularize fitness bands, it has lost ground in recent years to rivals. A survey by research firm IDC for the second quarter of 2019 found Fitbit in fourth place in a market led by China’s Xiaomi leading the global market, followed by Apple — which makes the leading smartwarch — and Chinese-based Huawei.
Fitbit has introduced its own smartwatch in 2017 but it has failed to keep pace with the Apple Watch.
Google, which faces pressure from regulators around the world over its dominance of internet search, has been boosting its hardware offerings, including a line of Pixel smartphones and tablets, along with connected speakers.