Google’s acquisition of fitness-tracking company Fitbit seemed like a big move at the time, but four years later, the future of Fitbit looks uncertain. Recently, Google has discontinued Fitbit products in many countries, and despite promising to make fitness “more accessible to more people,” Google has only released one new Fitbit-branded product in 2023.
Neither of these decisions reflects positively on the company, which has a history of discontinuing once-popular products, sometimes on what feels like a whim.
As noted on Google’s support website (first spotted by Android Authority), Fitbit products are no longer being sold in 11 countries in the EU, including Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia. The products have also been pulled from five locations in the Asia-Pacific region: Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand, and the Philippines. According to Tech Central, Fitbit products are also being pulled in South Africa.
And it doesn’t stop there. As spotted by 9to5Google, a separate support page from Google indicates that Fitbit products are no longer being sold in Mexico or any other markets in Latin America. That includes Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, and Venezuela. Fitbits were previously being sold in all of these countries, but they’ve since vanished from thin air.
Google didn’t give a reassuring reason for this vast removal of Fitbit products; instead, it told Tech Central that this was done to “align our hardware portfolio to map closer to Pixel’s regional availability.” Google says it will continue to provide software releases, security updates, warranty fulfillment, and customer service for existing Fitbit products in those areas.
Furthermore, Google provided another statement to Android Authority on November 9, saying:
“We communicated that we will stop selling Fitbit products in select countries in order to align our hardware portfolio to map closer to Pixel’s regional availability. We remain committed to our customers and have not made any changes that impact the existing Fitbit devices they already own. Existing Fitbit customers will continue to have access to the same customer support, warranties will still be honored, and products will continue to receive software and security updates.”
Looking beyond Google’s statements, what else could be the reason for this shift in Fitbit’s strategy? While poor sales could be the most logical reason, the fact that Google only released one new Fitbit product this year suggests something else could be at play. It’s possible that Google’s long-term fitness product plans may not include the Fitbit name, or the company may have decided to focus only on certain regions worldwide.
On the bright side, the absence of new products from Google this year might also indicate that the company is gearing up to launch many new offerings in the coming years, possibly starting in 2024 and beyond.
Luckily for consumers, plenty of terrific wearable fitness products, including fitness trackers and smartwatches from various companies, are on the market. Time will tell whether the Fitbit name remains.
- Subscriptions are quickly ruining fitness trackers
- The Fitbit Charge 6 is a fitness tracker and smartwatch hybrid
- The Fitbit app just got its biggest update in years
- I’ll be so angry if the Galaxy Z Flip 5 doesn’t have this feature
- I’m looking forward to the Pixel Fold, but I probably shouldn’t be
Bryan M. Wolfe has over a decade of experience as a technology writer. He writes about mobile.
WatchOS 10 doesn’t fix my biggest issue with the Apple Watch
As expected, WWDC 2023 was a packed show. From exciting new features in iOS 17 to a 15-inch MacBook Air to Apple’s first foray into VR with the Vision Pro headset, there was plenty to get excited about. But I was focused on how Apple would improve the Apple Watch with watchOS 10.
To Apple’s credit, there’s a lot about watchOS 10 that looks great. The new design for full-screen apps is gorgeous, accessing widgets on your watch face is an ingenious idea, and I’m in love with the two new watch faces.
No, you really don’t need Google Assistant on your smartwatch
The Mobvoi TicWatch Pro 5 doesn’t have Google Assistant built-in, and you can’t separately download and install the app from the Google Play Store. It’s the latest in a line of Android smartwatches that don’t have Assistant onboard, following on from the Montblanc Summit 3 and most modern Fossil smartwatches, but it’s still a standard feature on Google’s own Pixel Watch.
Is Google holding Assistant back for its own devices? Maybe, but I’m not going to worry about it, and I definitely don’t think you should pick the Pixel Watch over the TicWatch Pro 5 due to it. Why? The Assistant on a smartwatch isn’t the selling point Google seems to think it is.
Is it needed on a smartwatch?
I really hope the iPhone 16 Pro Max doesn’t look like this
We may still be waiting for Apple to announce the iPhone 15 series, but that hasn’t stopped the iPhone 16 leaks from already trickling in. More specifically, new renders now provide a first glimpse at what 2024’s iPhone 16 Pro Max could look like … and it’s a lot.
In collaboration with Apple leaker Sonny Dickson, 9to5Mac has published early CAD renders of the iPhone 16 Pro Max / iPhone 16 Ultra. The name of the device is still up in the air, but the renders showcase what the rumored 6.9-inch display will potentially look like.
The iPhone 16 Pro Max looks ginormous
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