Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Tech | By Dwayne Harmon

Production Of Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) Smartwatch Plagued By Problems

Production Of Fitbit Inc (NYSE:FIT) Smartwatch Plagued By Problems

According to a report at Yahoo Finance, Fitbit's (FIT -2.8%) first "proper" smartwatch and first-ever bluetooth headphones - originally scheduled for release this spring - aren't coming out until the fall thanks to a series of production mishaps.

Yahoo Finance has reported two key issues for the said delay: firstly, the smartwatch's Global Positioning System hardware wasn't working in the final prototype unit because of misplaced antennae, and secondly, there was trouble making the smartwatch waterproof. Designers had to go back to the drawing board to redesign the product so the Global Positioning System got a strong signal.

Also noted were problems making the smartwatch fully waterproof, and it's unclear if that feature will be included - a sizable drawback given Apple's Watch Series 2. When (and if?) it hits shelves later this year, the Fitbit smartwatch will ship for $300.

In addition, "the Global Positioning System wasn't working because the antennae wasn't in the right place", sources said. We say "real", because the company already sells a form of a smart wrist device, the Fitbit Blaze, but it is rather perceived as fitness tracker that can receive texts and calls. "It's literally sink or swim time for them".

According to sources Fitbit is likely come out with a feature-packed device that will include a high-res colour display, built-in Global Positioning System, heart-rate monitoring, contactless payments, on-board storage for music and four days of battery life. We think Fitbit's core fitness tracker business faces several challenges, including saturation of the early adopter market in the United States, competition from smartwatches at the high-end and commoditized trackers at the low-end, as well as a value proposition now not compelling enough to expand TAM.

Sources told Yahoo that Fitbit ran into trouble when it came to waterproofing their new smartwatch, which will reportedly feature a 1000-nit display, NFC-chip and aluminum uni-body design.

Yahoo Finance viewed the presentation deck Fitbit showed retail partners like Best Buy (BBY) and Target (TGT) behind closed doors.

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