The former reigning king of fitness trackers Fitbit plans to ship a new smart watch this fall that CEO James Park says offers the best health and fitness features.
Park announced the new smart watch during the company’s second fiscal quarter earnings report on Wednesday. He said,
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.
He didn’t offer up any details on what will make this new smart watch the best experience. Considering it’ll have to go head to head with Apple Watch, the new Fitbit watch will need to offer very accurate step tracking and heart rate monitoring, tight smartphone integration, user customization, third party app support, and more than a single day’s use on a charge.
Fitbit needs this new smart watch to be a winner if it hopes to regain its place as the top fitness tracker company. Apple dethroned Fitbit as the top wearables maker earlier this year by snagging more of the market with Apple Watch.
Apple’s share of the wearables market came at Fitbit’s expense. Fitbit saw a 35% decrease in sales year-over-year, dropping it to third place behind Apple and Xiaomi. The company’s sales have taken a big hit and it was forced to lay off more than 100 employees earlier this year.
Fitbit’s sales did, however, increased 14 percent compared to its first fiscal quarter. The company reported US$353 million in revenue but a $58.2 million loss.
The company’s late entrance into the smartwatch market has been a problem since it hasn’t been able to catch up to Apple Watch. Fitbit still refuses to support HealthKit, too, making their products far less enticing to iPhone owners.
HealthKit is Apple’s unified health and fitness platform. HealthKit-savvy devices can share their data so users can track things like their step count, weight, heart rate, and more from a single interface.
Fitbit still insists on sitting out on HealthKit and until that changes the company is going to have a hard time convincing iPhone owners its smartwatch will beat out Apple Watch