Dec 09, 2016 07:56 AM EST

Kickstarter Darling Pebble Watch Dead: Fitbit Shuts Down Operations After $40m Purchase; Watch Strayed From 'DIY Roots'

By JC Santos

The world's true first "smartwatch" Pebble has finally thrown in the towel. Launching its decidedly final product the "Pebble 2," it confirmed the rumored financial issues the company had in the last few years. Before the fall, the company had laid off a quarter of its workforce and it has now sold itself to fitness tech Fitbit -- who immediately shut down its operations upon purchase.

According to Ars Technica, Pebble is dead. Upon print of this post, Pebble has confirmed its sale to FitBit for $40 million -- an amount that according to Ars Technica is half the $70 million Intel proposed in January 2016 and smaller than the $740 million offered by renowned watchmaker Citizen. The Pebble"team had also refunded kickstarters who never received their "Pebble 2" watches, halted production on other products including "Pebble Time 2", "Pebble Core" and "Pebble Time Round."

The new owner Fitbit immediately shut down manufacturing and operations of Pebble as soon as they purchased the brand.  Fitbit immediately incorporated Pebble's software engineering team but laid off other staff of the company.

According to The Register, Pebble only succeeded with its first watch because it had a "DIY feel" to its devices. It also said that Pebble succeeded at first because it was the first "smartwatch" of the time -- the hype and investors carried them from their DIY roots to add more features to the device. While everyone praised the product's innovation and creativity in being the first device of its kind, the post illustrated several product deficiencies that people had missed.

Pebble owners will see their watch to continue to work but without company support, the watch may have reduced quality in the future. With Fitbit shutting down operations there will be new software updates or new features. Pebble had even began referring people to third-party providers when it comes to new chargers and other hardware.

Pebble is likely to see an upgrade should a dedicated community of programmers reverse engineer its tech. But until a forum with answers for bugs and updated functionality for Pebble appears in search engines, Pebble has finally come to rest.

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