Fitbit introduced a few new products earlier this year, including a slim swim-proof tracker and an update to its popular Charge model. Only product-watchers saw that the Charge was piling up on store shelves, and the swim-proof tracker, the Flex 2, was in short supply. Now Fitbit predicts that its sales will be way down this holiday season.
The company is coming to realize that the business of selling fitness trackers directly to consumers can be a volatile one. Fitbit is in the high-middle part of the market, with some fitness-minded people who want more data at hand opting for the Apple Watch. Consumers in Asia in particular are choosing very cheap but very good trackers from competitor Xiaomi.
If you own a Fitbit and threw it in a drawer after a few weeks, you’re part of the problem. The company is still the top seller among fitness-related wearables, but that doesn’t mean much if people lose interest in the category.
There might be more interest in the Flex 2, but the tracker is so tiny that it has to be assembled by robots, and CEO James Park said in a recent earnings call that the company has struggled to find batteries for the teeny tracker.
Fitbit is now pursuing products that it can sell to the health care industry, rather than depending on fickle and lazy consumers to buy its products and use them so much that they wear out.
by Laura Northrup via Consumerist