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Fitbit says its long-awaited smartwatch will be ready for the holidays

Fitbit says its long-awaited smartwatch will be ready for the holidays



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Fitbit Blaze

In its second-quarter earnings report today, fitness-tracking company Fitbit said that its long-awaited smartwatch, which we’ve reported has been delayed due to production issues, will be available by this holiday season.

On the earnings call, chief executive James Park said that Fitbit’s new smartwatch will have health and fitness tracking features, will have GPS, will be be water resistant up to 50 meters, and will offer cross-platform compatibility as well as “multi-day battery life.”

But the company still hasn’t said exactly when it will ship. When an analyst asked about this on the call, Fitbit chief financial officer Bill Zerella said that the “vast majority of revenue in Q3 will be related to legacy products,” indicating that consumers shouldn’t expect a new smartwatch before the fourth quarter of the calendar year.

Fitbit says its new smartwatch will have GPS, be water-resistant up to 50 meters, and will have multi-day battery life

Fitbit claimed it is “uniquely positioned” for success as it competes head-to-head with Apple in the smartwatch category, citing its experience building health and fitness-tracking products and its prior success with Fitbit Blaze fitness watch. It also said it is actively looking into tracking conditions like sleep apnea.

“We have a firm vision of the future,” Park said. “Devices are a means to an end.”

Fitbit’s second quarter earnings beat expectations, with revenues of $353.3 million for the quarter compared with analyst expectations of $341.6 million.

But the lull between its last product launch and the upcoming smartwatch launch has resulted in contracted revenue and unit sales declines. The company reported that US revenue contracted 55 percent to $199 million year over year, and revenue from the Americas excluding the US contracted 11 percent to $24 million. Its unit sales were down significantly year-over-year as well. Last year in the second quarter Fitbit sold 5.7 million activity trackers. This year: 3.4 million devices.

Fitbit did see a fair amount of growth in the Asia-Pacific region, with revenue growing 21 percent from a year ago to $21 million. Its average selling price increased two percent from a year ago (which helps Fitbit make the case that it can sell higher-priced items like ... smartwatches.). And it managed to reduce its operating costs by seven percent, due partly to cutbacks in marketing and advertising spend.

Fitbit has sold 67 million Fitbits total to date; its Charge 2 wearable is its most popular wearable right now.

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