Fitbit Hopes To Capture Wider Audience With New Line Of Wearables

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SAN FRANCISCO, United States — Fitbit has launched a new line of affordable wearables designed to capture a wider audience, and further reverse the brand’s recent struggles.

The Versa Lite, priced at $159.95, is a stripped-down version of its existing Versa smartwatch which launched last year, and aims to position itself as an everyday wearable for users who “want an attractive, versatile, and easy-to-use device with core features, actionable insights, and personal guidance to motivate them to improve their health,” the company explained.

With the original Versa watch having helped Fitbit claw back dwindling sales, due largely to its more affordable price point, it looks as though the brand has learnt from its past mistakes and is now focusing on  “delivering high-quality, easy-to-use wearables that are more affordable, so getting healthy can be accessible to people of all ages and activity levels – even those who have never tried a wearable,” according to James Park, Co-Founder, and CEO of Fitbit.

“Bringing more users to the wearables category and growing our community of active users is a critical part of our strategy. We will continue to build on the Fitbit platform to provide a more personalised and valuable experience for our users through a paid premium service expected to launch later this year,” he added.

The Fitbit app, which is also due to receive a major redesign, will give users more ways to personalise their health journey on Fitbit, making it easier to view and understand health and fitness stats, log data, discover new content, see progress in challenges, and better connect with the brand’s global health and fitness social community.

“Being ‘on Fitbit’ is about more than just wearing a device. The power is in the platform we’ve built that connects our devices, software, services and engaged community to support people at every step of their journey and help drive positive behaviour change,” explained Jonah Becker, VP of design at Fitbit.

“We are always looking for ways to enhance that experience, so we redesigned the Fitbit app to give people more ways to tailor it, with easier access to tools and a global community that can help motivate them to reach their goals. This flexible mobile platform will allow us to offer more personalised services in the future, including coaching, guidance and insights based on personal data, making our app more valuable to consumers.”

According to research by IDC, the wearables category continues to evolve and grow, with global shipments of wearable devices forecasted to reach 189 million units by 2022, up from 125 million units in 2018. And while growth is being driven by smartwatches, trackers are expected to remain an important part of the category overall.

Fitbit believes this rapid growth provides a large opportunity to bring new consumers to the category by offering both smartwatch and tracker form factors that feel more accessible and are affordably priced. The brand’s other new devices include the Inspire HR, its most affordable 24/7 heart rate tracking device yet, and the Ace 2, aimed at helping children aged 6+ to learn healthy habits from an early age.

However, the new line of devices isn’t the only focus for the company, with healthcare also firmly on its agenda.

“We see ourselves evenly split between being a consumer company and being a health company,” Park told TechCrunch. “Despite some of the challenges over the past couple of years, our healthcare business has continued to grow. Last year, it grew eight percent year-over-year. This year, we’re projecting double-digit growth to about $100 million in revenue,” he added.

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