- After Google’s acquisition, Fitbit will no longer sell new devices in several regions, including countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.
- Current Fitbit owners in these countries can still use premium subscription services but will no longer receive automatic renewals.
- Google’s decision to remove Fitbit from these countries suggests a possible pivot with the Fitbit brand, although the company’s long-term plans for its fitness trackers and nascent line of smartwatches are unknown.
Fitbit had established itself as one of the top wearable tech brands in the landscape before Google stepped in and bought the company in 2021. In just over a decade, its innovative fitness tracking smartwatches health brought in $2.1 billion, which both excited and frightened. its users. Now, almost three years later, and after Google began making good on its promise to require a Google account for any sign-up on the Fitbit platform, potential buyers and current Fitbit owners in more than a dozen countries around the world will no longer do so. be able to purchase new devices.
Google updated its documentation for Fitbit devices last month, announcing that it would no longer sell any of its products in many countries in Europe, Asia, and Africa (via AndroidAuthority). In the EU, the countries concerned are: Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania and Slovakia. In Asia, these countries are: Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. Additionally, TechCentral confirmed this week after speaking with Google officials that Fitbit is also pulling out of South Africa.
Although automatic renewals are no longer possible for people with Fitbit watches in these countries, users can still continue to use its premium subscription services (provided they pay, of course). Google says current owners will still have access to software releases, security updates, warranty compliance, and customer service for their devices. We don’t know how long this will continue to be the case. But combined with Google’s major touches that it’s integrating into Fitbit’s software, like its splash of Material You, the writing may be on the wall before we know it.
The Google spokesperson TechCentral spoke with explained why Google is removing the Fitbit product line from countries where it has had sales for several years. They said Google was looking to “align our hardware portfolio to be closer to Pixel’s regional availability.” Google has never sold, does not sell, or has a strong presence with products in the countries it removed Fitbit from.
Is Google hoping to fully assimilate Fitbit’s technology into another Google Pixel Watch line? This would be no different than how Apple sells its main “Series” brand with the Apple Watch, but, as it did with iPhones, also sells a cheaper “SE” line of smartwatches. We wouldn’t be shocked if, over the years, Google actually killed off the Fitbit hardware brand and adapted it into a Pixel Watch Active line, but for now, that’s just speculation about the company’s long-term plan. Google.
Pulling out of these countries isn’t a shocking move on Google’s part, but it’s quite disappointing for the people who live there. For people who have access to Fitbit products but live in a country where Google device sales are limited, cherish the time you still have to access the new Fitbit trackers, as it may be limited.