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What’s a User to Do When Their Device’s Manufacturer Goes Under?

What’s a User to Do When Their Device’s Manufacturer Goes Under?

Business is a fickle thing, as acquisitions can be the end of both major and minor vendors. This can also lead to the untimely demise of some of your partnerships with these companies. Take, for example, a recent acquisition by Fitbit, which acquired a former Kickstarter project Pebble, showing the world that these types of acquisitions can be major problems for consumers.

Pebble, a hardware company, made the announcement on their Kickstarter page that, “due to various factors,” the company “could no longer operate as an independent entity” and had “made the tough decision to shut down the company” after Fitbit completed the purchase of some of Pebble’s assets. Pebble went on to admit that they would no longer be building hardware and cutting production of their wearable products.

Of course, you have to take into account all of the devices that have already been sold. Pebble has claimed that the devices will continue to operate as intended for now, but these devices will go without critical software updates, making them vulnerable to all manners of online threats. Furthermore, these devices will no longer be available for return or exchange, so the user is basically stuck with a device that’s both without updates and without the possibility for financial reimbursement.

In other words, you’ll notice how this isn’t a decision that affects just Pebble, but all of the users of their products. Pebble fans are stuck with devices that have a limited lifespan, no warranty, and no support, making you wonder why Pebble would have agreed to such a thing.

Granted, this exchange probably won’t affect your business much, but you need to think about it in a more broad sense. What if your workstation were dealing with a software vendor, which was one day bought out by another company out of the blue. If these devices aren’t supported any longer by your vendor, since they are no longer offering support or services that were agreed upon, your office will be filled with devices that have no real practical use. As was seen with Windows XP’s end of life event, custom service might be available, but at an unreasonable and expensive cost.

If you want to ensure that you don’t fall victim to a random acquisition in the tech industry, reach out to White Mountain IT Services and have our professional technicians be your single point of contact for your IT vendors. To learn more, reach out to us at 603-889-0800.

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