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If Apple is one of the leaders in the smartwatch field, what does the rest of the industry look like? As we mentioned earlier, there have been a lot of casualties, with Pebble being perhaps the most notable. The company raised a huge $10.3 million on Kickstarter in 2012, then the largest amount that had ever been raised on the website. But with missed sales targets and increasing debts, it was sold to close rival Fitbit in late 2016.
Others have suffered similar fates. At the same time as Pebble’s sale to Fitbit, Motorola pulled out of the nascent smartwatch market indefinitely, with Shakil Barkat, the company’s head of global product development, saying: “Wearables do not have broad enough appeal for us to continue to build on it year after year.”
That leaves Apple and Samsung as two of the only companies to have had any kind of success in the smartwatch field, mirroring their smartphone dominance. Samsung beat Apple to the punch with a 4G LTE-enabled smartwatch, allowing users to make calls and reply to texts without needing to take their phone with them.
Then there’s Google, which has taken a different approach to its wearable rivals. Instead of building its own hardware, it has chosen to license its wearable operating system out to traditional high-end watchmakers like Fossil, Armani and Montblanc. Google provides the platform, not the hardware.
Fitbit goes from strength to strength in the wearable market.