Fitbit Acquires Pebble, Kickstarter Backers Upset
Pebble, the manufacturer of smart watches, announced that it no longer will operate as an independent company following an acquisition by Fitbit.
— Pebble (@Pebble) December 7, 2016
In a post on Kickstarter, Pebble announced that Fitbit will acquire Pebble assets, and that it will shut down the company. That also means that customers who backed the company on Kickstarter are eligible for refunds for their pledges (which they'll receive in March 2017), but, for those who already have Pebble products, Pebble support no longer will be available.
"Any Pebble currently out in the wild is no longer covered by or eligible for any warranty or exchange," the company said, according to Gizmodo.
Basically, if you own a Pebble and, for whatever reason, it dies, then that's it.
Pebble's most recent Kickstarter endeavor began in May, and raised about $12.8 million.
Those who backed the products expecting to receive a Pebble 2 at the end of this year are, understandably, upset. A quick look at the comment section on the Kickstarter shows that many backers were in the dark about why their products, which were supposed to ship in November, hadn't arrived yet. And worse, they wanted to know why the company was so quiet about it.
"Don't blame Kickstarter, this entirely a Pebble issue," one backer wrote. "They're on the cusp of being purchased by Fitbit for an undisclosed but 'low' sum, and my hunch for the lack of any real update from Pebble is that production shortages aren't due to any technical issues, but rather a cash-flow issue, and the buyout will provide the cash-flow needed to ship what appears to be the last real product from Pebble Inc."
"Your inability and unwillingness to communicate with those who spent money to back you is not something you should be proud of," another wrote. "Granted, you passed on other buyout offers in the past and are now just covering debts with the sales to Fitbit, so maybe you are just licking your wounds. Alas, it looks like it's time to call AmEx and have them force you into issuing a refund. I'm sure I won't be the only one."