Fitbit to launch ‘best’ fitness smartwatch before Christmas as YOY sales drop

By @ULB1N on
Fitbit
The ticker symbol for Fitbit is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) February 23, 2016. Reuters/Brendan McDermid

Smart wearable maker Fitbit will launch “the best health and fitness” smartwatch before the year ends, according to the company’s co-founder. Fitbit is looking ahead with positivity despite losing its strong grip on the market.

James Park, Fitbit’s co-founder and CEO, confidently announced during the company’s conference call on Wednesday that the best is yet to come. Park said that everything is in place and according to plan. He also added that the whole enterprise is definitely on track to attaining its full year results.

“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,” said Park. “In the long term, we are confident in our vision for the future and are uniquely positioned to succeed by leveraging our brand, community and data to drive positive health outcomes.”

Fitbit sold 3.4 million devices between April and June of this year, up 14 percent compared to its first quarter sales. The company notched US$353.3 million (AU$445.6 million) in revenue, but it also suffered a 40 percent plunge year-over-year compared to last year’s second quarter sales. That’s 2.3 million lesser devices sold and US$233.2 million (AU$294.1 million) dollars in lost profits.

The San Francisco, California-based public company has lost its sturdy hold of the wearables industry in recent times. China’s Xiaomi is currently dominating the industry with more affordable fitness smartwatches while Fitbit’s interstate rival, Apple, is the leader when it comes to high-end wearables.

Xiaomi edged Fitbit during the second quarter and is now the world’s number one wearables vendor, thanks to 3.7 million device shipments – up 23 percent annually from last year’s Q2 units of 3 million. The Beijing-based electronics company seized 17 percent global marketshare.

“Xiaomi’s Mi Band fitness trackers are wildly popular in China due to their highly competitive pricing and rich features such as heart-rate monitors, step-counters and calendar alerts,” according to Strategy Analytics executive director Neil Mawston. “Fitbit shipped 3.4 million wearables for 16 percent marketshare worldwide in Q2 2017, almost halving from 29 percent a year ago. Fitbit is at risk of being trapped in a pincer movement between the low-end fitness bands sold by Xiaomi and the fitness-led, high-end smartwatches sold by Apple.”

The market research firm also added that it doesn’t see the Mac maker losing the top spot to Xiaomi for an extended amount time. After all, the Apple Watch 3 is rumoured to be launching in the coming weeks. Fitbit has its hands full, and it needs to bring out the big guns for it to get back on track.

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