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In a move that went a bit under the radar, Fitbit under Google has stopped selling its products in nearly 30 countries around the globe.
Over the past couple of months, Fitbit has ended sales of its fitness trackers, smartwatches, and other products in portions of Asia and Europe, and most recently South Africa. On a support page highlighted by Android Authority, Google lists out the affected regions.
In Europe, those include:
- Czech Republic
Google shut down the renewal of Fitbit Premium in these countries on October 24, 2023 though, as a 9to5Google reader has pointed out, the Fitbit Charge 6 is currently being sold in Portugal via the Google Store.
Prior to that, in August, Google had pulled Fitbit Premium and products from a few regions in Asia including:
- Hong Kong
Further noticed that Google has also removed Fitbit products from Mexico and all Latin American countries as mentioned on another support page. There’s no date attached to these removals, though. Fitbit products were previously sold in the following Latin American countries:
- Costa Rica
- Puerto Rico
This all adds up to 29 countries that Fitbit has halted sales in, and leaves only 23 countries that Fitbit is selling products in.
Well, I guess someone internally needed data to prove that Pixel Watch is the best selling product of the Google wearable portfolio.
How to better achieve that than reducing availability of all other wearables?
This really gives vibes of “Google is killing the Fitbit brand” in 2-3 years.
Yes, despite their current “Health by Fitbit” marketing campaign for it.
Why the removal? Speaking to South African publication Tech Central, Google confirmed that the change was made to better “align our hardware portfolio to map closer to Pixel’s regional availability.” The change also applies to Nest products in South Africa.
Update: Google expanded on this in a statement to Android Authority.
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.
Google has long been criticized for the limited availability of its Pixel lineup on the global market, as Pixel phones, watches, and many other Google products are generally only sold in a limited number of countries. With Fitbit cutting its active markets by more than half, it seems like a drastic move.
Google notes that, while products are no longer for sale in these regions, Fitbit customers will still receive support and updates, and extended a free month of Fitbit Premium to any subscribers set to lose their plans.
We are no longer selling Fitbit products in select countries—but don’t worry! We will continue to support you and the devices you currently own with software releases, security updates, warranty fulfillment, and access to customer service.
Redesigned Fitbit app brings back battery percentage
Last month, Fitbit detailed a handful of upcoming changes for its redesigned app in response to user feedback, including the return of battery percentage for trackers and smartwatches.
With Fitbit 4.04, which is currently live on the iOS App Store, there’s a new device pill that includes the battery. When the battery is low, it will turn red as a prominent reminder for you to recharge.
Previously, with the redesign, you had to open the Devices page, which only provided an approximation — like “Battery Full” — of the remaining charge rather than an exact percentage.
On the old app, you could quickly check the battery level by swiping down in the Today tab to initiate a sync. It was somewhat more hidden, but a clever way to declutter the UI until you needed that information.
Something amusing that we’ve noticed today is how battery life for the Pixel Watch 2 appears in the iOS app. On Android, there is no such reading or even the approximation on Fitbit 4.03, and we’ll soon see whether that’s intentional.
Version 4.04 for Android is not yet live on the Google Play Store but will presumably start rolling out in the coming days.