It’s been a long running bugbear on here that Google perpetually ignores New Zealand. Kiwis looking to enjoy Pixel phones and the Pixel Watch have to resort to the murky world of importing if they want to enjoy Google’s vision of Android unencumbered… which makes today’s news an unexpected but welcome surprise.
As spotted by Android Authority, Google has pulled the sale of Fitbit devices and the Fitbit Premium service from 29 countries, leaving it active in just 23. When I saw the headline, I was sure New Zealand was in for the chop, but amazingly it’s still standing in the latter column.
Indeed, right now, the company is boasting it will happily sell you a Fitbit Sense 2 for NZ$449.95 or a Versa 3 for NZ$329.95. A Fitbit Premium subscription is also still there, costing NZ$16.99 per month.
This is all the more baffling when you hear Google’s rationale for it. In a “terse statement” in response to South African site TechCentral’s questions, a Google spokesperson told the site the move was to “align our hardware portfolio to map closer to Pixel’s regional availability.”
So it’s a bit of a mystery as to why New Zealand has avoided the cull. Perhaps it’s an especially strong market for Fitbit, or maybe it was missed off the master list. Or — glass half empty time — the end is still nigh, just delayed to a later date.
Whatever the reasoning, it’s nice of Google to finally do New Zealand a solid. Even if the solid in question is the absence of something bad.
Here’s the full list of countries that have recently lost Fitbit, according to Google’s support page.
- Hong Kong
- Czech Republic
Eagle-eyed readers will notice this only adds up to 16. That’s because Google has a separate page for central and South American countries impacted.
- Costa Rica
- Puerto Rico
“Don’t worry! We will continue to support you and the devices you currently own with software releases, security updates, warranty fulfilment and access to customer service,” the pages read. Which is something, I guess, but a pretty lousy consolation prize all the same.