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Google is pulling Fitbit from loads of markets (Updated: Even more markets exited)
- Google has pulled Fitbit from nearly 30 markets in the last few weeks.
- Notable exited areas include Mexico and all Latin American countries.
- The company most recently announced that Fitbit was leaving South Africa.
Update, November 9, 2023 (11:08 AM ET): When we published this initially, we found 16 markets in which Fitbit would no longer sell its products. Shortly thereafter, 9to5Google found a separate support page that mentioned the company moving out of even more, including Mexico and all Latin American countries. This means Fitbit has recently removed itself from 29 countries, which is more than half of its previous markets. As of now, Fitbit is only active in 23 countries:
- The United States
- The Netherlands
- The United Kingdom
- New Zealand
A Google spokesperson also gave us the following statement on the matter:
We communicated that we will stop selling Fitbit products in select countries in order to align our hardware portfolio to map closer to Pixel’s regional availability. We remain committed to our customers and have not made any changes that impact the existing Fitbit devices they already own. Existing Fitbit customers will continue to have access to the same customer support, warranties will still be honored, and products will continue to receive software and security updates.
Original article, November 9, 2023 (05:13 AM ET): Google completed its acquisition of Fitbit back in 2021, with the Mountain View company claiming this deal would make health and wellness “more accessible to more people.” However, it looks like the company is taking the opposite approach in over a dozen markets.
Google confirmed last month that Fitbit would be leaving over a dozen markets in Asia and Europe. In Asia, these markets are Hong Kong, Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand. As for Europe, Fitbit is leaving Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Poland, Portugal, Romania, and Slovakia.
We’re guessing that some markets in the likes of Latin America and the Middle East could be affected too.
The official exits don’t stop here as Google confirmed to TechCentral this week that Fitbit will be leaving South Africa too. Google told the outlet that this decision was made to “align our hardware portfolio to map closer to Pixel’s regional availability.”
What’s Google’s end goal here?
Google has never offered Pixel phones in South Africa, to begin with. So the company is clearly making a conscious decision to not officially offer any Google hardware in the market by pulling Fitbit from the country.
However, Fitbit products have been available in the country for roughly a decade. In fact, Fitbit Pay was also part of the first wave of NFC-based payment solutions in the market, beating Apple Pay and Google Pay to the punch by several years. So it’s a shame to see these products disappear from the market with Google unabashedly offering no alternative here.
Have you ever bought a Fitbit device before?
We’re not sure why Google is pulling Fitbit from the aforementioned Asian and European markets, though. In saying so, these affected European markets generally don’t have a Google Store presence. So we hope Fitbit products come back to these markets if/when they get Google Store support. Hopefully, this will lead to Pixel Watch products coming to these markets as well.
This wouldn’t be the first time the company has pulled products or services from specific countries without an immediate alternative, either. Google notably pulled Nest Aware subscriptions from several markets, including the UAE and Luxembourg, after bringing Nest products to the Google Store.