Fitbit is very close to announcing its plan to purchase Pebble, according to a new report from Bloomberg, which describes the rumored deal as “imminent.” The leading maker of fitness trackers has offered jobs to roughly 40 percent of Pebble’s staff, with most of those going to software engineers. Fitbit’s buyout of Pebble will focus on the smartwatch startup’s software assets, like the operating system on Pebble’s existing devices.
But the deal will reportedly not cover any hardware — including both current and future Pebble products. “The rest of Pebble’s assets, including product inventory and server equipment, will be sold off separately” says the report, which is backed by sources said to be familiar with the acquisition.
As a result, the Pebble Time 2 and Pebble Core will be canceled and won’t ever ship to Kickstarter backers and pre-order customers. Refunds will be issued to everyone that supported either product through crowdfunding. The Pebble 2 started shipping weeks ago and is already on store shelves. Like its predecessor, the Pebble Time 2 was meant to deliver a more premium wearable experience. And the Pebble Core would’ve been the company’s first non-watch gadget — a small device with built-in GPS that could also play music from Spotify. Now, neither product will see the light of day. The Kickstarter campaign that was intended to fund all three products raised nearly $13 million.
As of now, these cancellations aren’t reflected on Pebble’s website or Kickstarter. But remember that Fitbit still hasn’t made its purchase of Pebble official. Once it does, Pebble CEO Eric Migicovsky is likely to depart the company. He’s expected to return to Y Combinator where he’ll concentrate on “advising early-stage companies on hardware development” according to Bloomberg. Other Pebble employees who aren’t making the move to Fitbit will be offered severance packages.