(Pocket-lint) - Google has announced that it has entered a "definitive agreement" to acquire Fitbit.
The deal was first rumoured at the end of October after Reuters claimed Google made an undisclosed bid on the popular wearables company, and Google has since confirmed in a blog post that it is happening.
This is what you need to know and what it could mean for Fitbit devices in the future.
Why has Google bought Fitbit?
Google develops Wear OS and licenses it to companies, like Fossil, that make smartwatches and fitness trackers that run the operating system. Google itself does not make its own Wear OS smartwatch however, even though it's long been rumoured to be working on one.
The Google and Fitbit deal will likely allow Google to better compete with Apple, which currently dominates the smartwatch market and the health and fitness space with its Apple Watch.
Buying Fitbit could also allow Google to bring a Wear OS smartwatch to market, and if it's Fitbit-branded - a name that millions of consumers already know and trust - giving it the potential to truly take on the Apple Watch.
Some of Fitbit's advanced technology - like its sleep tracking - could also be of benefit to Google's smartwatch efforts, as Apple is typically seen as miles ahead of Google when it comes to fitness-tracking capabilities.
Why has Fitbit sold to Google?
Simply put: Fitbit will have the resources it needs to thrive under Google. Strategy Analytics found that Apple took over about half of the global smartwatch market in 2018, in terms of units shipped.
Meanwhile, Fitbit has suffered from weaker-than-expected sales as of late. Add it all up, and Google will likely give Fitbit a much-needed boost and help it reach a whole new level in terms of its ability to launch premium devices.
How could the Google and Fitbit deal affect you?
It's hard to say for certain at this point because while the deal has been made official - there isn't much information surrounding it as yet, including how much Google has bought Fitbit for.
In the blog post, Google's Rick Osterloh, Senior Vice President, Devices & Services said: "By working closely with Fitbit's team of experts, and bringing together the best AI, software and hardware, we can help spur innovation in wearables and build products to benefit even more people around the world."
He added: "To get this right, privacy and security are paramount. When you use our products, you're trusting Google with your information. We understand this is a big responsibility and we work hard to protect your information, put you in control and give you transparency about your data.
"Similar to our other products, with wearables, we will be transparent about the data we collect and why. We will never sell personal information to anyone. Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads. And we will give Fitbit users the choice to review, move, or delete their data."
If we had to guess, we suspect Google won't ditch the Fitbit brand name, Fitbit app, or Fitbit technology - at least not immediately. Presumably, it'll continue to support older Fitbit devices, but future Fitbits may arrive running Wear OS instead. There might also be more full-fledged smartwatches: Perhaps the Fitbit Pixel Watch?
We're just hoping Google doesn't let everything fall to the wayside like it nearly did after acquiring Nest in 2014 for $3.2 billion. It took the company five years to properly merge the company and announce Google Home products would be re-branded as Google Nest products.
We'll update this feature as soon as Google or Fitbit offers some more information.