It's official: RIP Pebble watch

Lynsey Barber
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Pebble Watch
The Pebble watch helped kickstart the wearable trend (Source: Pebble)

The Pebble watch is dead.

Demonstrating just how quickly and harshly the tide has turned in the world of wearables, the startup will no longer make its smartwatches after Fitbit confirmed it's buying up parts of the business.

As first reported exclusively by City A.M., the deal means the end of the Pebble brand, which came to prominence as the then biggest ever crowdfunded project on Kickstarter.

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Fitbit has picked up intellectual property and some staff from the startup, saying the assets "build on our strengths and extend our leadership position in the wearables category".

The Pebble hardware will cease to be, but the company tweeted that "active Pebbles in the wild will keep working". People who backed any of the products but have not received them will now be refunded. Although, it's safe to say that having built a company from the backing of a highly engaged community, that's now backfired and many are incredibly unhappy, judging by the kickstarter comments.

Pebble said it could "no longer operate as an independent entity" due to "various factors".

It's understood that the staff going to Fitbit are from the tech side of the business, with people in other functions such as back-office and comms already shed from the firm.

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But with the shine wearing off wearables, Fitbit itself is struggling too - shares rocketed more than 50 per cent on its stock market debut last year, but they are now down more than 70 per cent on its IPO price.

Even a giant like Apple can't avoid it, with analysts IDC reporting declines in Apple Watch sales since the summer.

Shares in Fitbit jumped as much as two per cent on the deal.

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