Fitbit has made another acquisition in the wearables market, this time buying out European luxury smartwatch maker Vector Watch for an undisclosed price.
Vector Watch only launched in March of last year offering a range of 12 smartwatch models in various fashion-conscious styles. Key features in its line-up include basic activity tracking, phone notifications, and 30-day battery life, with some third-party apps built into the interface. The London-based company announced the buyout in a statement on its website.
Today, we are happy to announce that the Vector Watch team and our software platform are joining Fitbit, the leader in the connected health and fitness market! We believe this is an important milestone as a moment when we will start building other new and amazing products, features and experiences, incorporating our unique technology and knowhow with Fitbit’s experience and global community.
Vector said its integration with Fitbit would have no impact on existing customers, whose smartwatches would continue to function as usual, while technical support and warranties would be unaffected. However, new product features (software and hardware) would not be added.
The buyout comes just one month after Fitbit acquired U.S.-based Pebble for a reported $40 million, signaling the company’s intention to continue to invest in software development, despite falling shares and a gloomy outlook for the overall wearables market.
Global shipments in the last quarter fell by more than half compared to last year, according to recent figures by IDC. Despite the numbers, Fitbit remains the market leader with 23 percent share, up from 21.4 percent a year ago, on the strength of its new Charge 2 fitness tracker. The Apple Watch is still the world’s best-selling smartwatch, but basic wearables account for 85 percent of the market, putting Apple in fourth place overall with 4.9 percent share and 1.1 million devices shipped in the last quarter.