Fitbit is a name synonymous with fitbands but they have been looking to expand their lineup into the smartwatch market. Their purchases of Pebble and Vector last year signalled this intent. Now it has been confirmed in their quarterly earnings report.
Our smartwatch, which we believe will deliver the best health and fitness experience in the category, is on track for delivery ahead of the holiday season and will drive a strong second half of the year
Fitbit CEO James Park confirmed the smartwatch and its timing with the above statement. Not only did he confirm timing but he also confirmed that it will be water resistant to 50m (allowing for swimming tracking) and that they would have their own app store. While they will have select app partners at launch they expect third-party developers to “stream in” after launch but with an entirely new SDK and developing tools it may take some time for these third-party apps to materialise.
The smartwatch is rumoured to come with a 1,000-nit AMOLED display, designed to directly take on the display of the Apple Watch. At this stage it is unknown whether the display will be a touchscreen, being a more fitness oriented smartwatch but we expect it will be given the fact that every other smartwatch’s display is.
The smartwatch is also expected to house a GPS chip and has been specifically designed around this being fully functional. Rumoured to be launching alongside the watch are Fitbit Bluetooth sports earphones, similar to the Apple AirPods.
Mr Park has also been quoted as saying:
We believe we are uniquely positioned to succeed in delivering what consumers are looking for in a smartwatch: stylish, well-designed devices that combine the right general purpose functionality with a focus on health and fitness
While not many (if any) smartwatches have been able to capture the health and fitness market to any great extent, it’s this market that is Fitbit’s bread and butter. They will not only be focusing on the fitness tracking side of things but also the health monitoring such as sleep apnoea and eventually hypertension and arrhythmia. We know that Fitbit already have high level sleep tracking on some of their trackers so we expect them to port this to their new flagship watch when it launches later this year.
We have reached out to Fitbit Australia to see if they have any news for us and will keep you informed of anything we receive. Would you consider buying a Fitbit smartwatch? I know I would.