Google Buys Fitbit…So What???

Check this out.  What you will see is the story about Google’s acquisition of Fitbit for $2.1 Billion. In it, you also find a lot of important information.

For example, you will see that the sales price is roughly half the value of Fitbit at its IPO. Meaning that a lot of the excitement about “wearables” in general, and this one in particular, seems to have waned.

Relatedly, you will see the comment that a problem with Fitbit data is that it has no medical relevance. Take your Fitbit data to your doctor and she will simply scratch her head in dismay. Despite all the hype, wearables aren’t really “there” yet in terms of genuinely contributing to managing your health.

You will also see that while 100 Million Fitbits have been sold, there are currently only 25 Million Fitbits in use. SO. The fact that 75% of the devices are now likely reposing in dresser drawers is another pretty good indicator that consumers have yet to find a compelling reason to keep using them.  

As an interesting aside, you will see a reference to an historical privacy issue with Fitbit. Seems that back in 2011, information that you provided about your sexual activity when filling out your Fitbit profile wound up being searchable on the Web. Whoops!

Bottom Line. As a freestanding device company, Fitbit had largely run out of steam. BUT. Coupled up with Google, we might indeed see some interesting developments. There is clearly potential in the wearables space. It is just not as easy to achieve that potential as we originally thought.

But here’s the real punchline. This writer of this piece holds forth that whether or not Fitbit provides clinically relevant data doesn’t really matter. Google can still sell a lot of the little devices if potential customers believe that Fitbits can contribute to their health.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *