Fitbit unfazed by Apple, Samsung as rivals step up smartwatch competition

Fitbit unfazed by Apple, Samsung as rivals step up smartwatch competition

Fitbit co-founder and CEO James Park told CNBC on Friday he was not worried about the competition posed by the likes of Apple or Samsung and instead remained “really excited” about the prospects of the company’s latest smartwatch.

Fitbit’s first fully-featured smartwatch – the Fitbit Ionic – launched on Monday and has generally been well received by critics. In answer to the Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear Sport smartwatch, the $300 Ionic watch includes fitness and sleep-tracking technology as well as capacity to handle contactless payments, music and more.

When asked whether recent competition from other leading players in the wearable market space had prompted concern for Fitbit, Park replied: “It doesn’t.”

“We have an incredible brand, we have a large community of users – over 50 million registered users who are cross platform compatible – so all these assets I think position us really well in the category,” Park told CNBC on Friday while speaking on the sidelines of the IFA consumer electronics show in Berlin, Germany.

Apple is reportedly poised to unveil its third generation smartwatch in the next few weeks, while Samsung launched two new fitness-focused smartwatches on Wednesday.

Until recently, Fitbit had been ranked as the world’s bestselling wearable tech brand. However, the firm was overtaken by both Apple and Xioami in terms of shipments in the first quarter of 2017, according to market research group IDC.

Last month, Fitbit reported its sales in the second-quarter were down 40 percent when compared to the same period in 2016.

In order to keep pace with leading players in the wearable tech space, Fitbit’s research and development team is exploring the medical sector.

The firm had previously said it was working on tools to help diagnose and monitor sleep apnea. Although, on Friday, Park announced Fitbit was also currently conducting research in to how the wearable technology could potentially help with user’s cardiac conditions.

Fitbit’s Ionic smartwatch introduces a sensor that is able to detect a user’s blood oxygen levels and, Park claimed, the heart rate tracker is more accurate than those found in other products.

Published at Fri, 01 Sep 2017 09:20:00 +0000 from Google News

Ron Kerr

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