We hope you weren’t especially attached to the Fitbit brand. According to a report from TechCentral, the wearable brand is leaving South Africa. The call comes shortly after the company was bought by Google and is the result of the same policy that prevents you from buying a Pixel smartphone in SA with ease. Uhhh… Google doesn’t feel like it.
That’s not exactly how the company put it in a statement confirming the wearable tech brand’s departure. The company has made the move “…to align our hardware portfolio to map closer to Pixel’s regional availability”. That also means that Nest devices are leaving the country since Google owns that brand too.
Fitbit of a surprise
It might come as a surprise but South Africa has been getting off relatively light so far. Google only sells its Pixel hardware in very specific markets. These tend to be places like the US, UK, and Europe. Smaller countries have to rely on speciality importers or friends with extra luggage room in order to own one. Fitbit’s slide off the global stage has been ongoing for some time. It’s just finally our turn.
The only consolation, at least so far, is that existing devices will continue to function in South Africa. This will hopefully remain true until they reach the end of their (supported) lifespan.
The unnamed Google representative explained that “[e]xisting Nest and Fitbit customers will continue to have access to the same customer support, warranties will still be honoured, and products will continue to receive software and security updates.” But if you’re after something new, expect to jump through more hoops to nab it.