Fitbit CEO: Apple Watch 'probably does too much'

James Park is sitting pretty after great Blaze and Alta sales
Fitbit CEO: Apple Watch 'does too much'

Fitbit's CEO, James Park, has more right than most to mouth off about what makes good wearable tech. Fitbit's sales continue to slay the competition, quarter after quarter with 1m Blaze smartwatches and 1m Alta fitness trackers sold within a month.

Talking to the Telegraph, Park threw some shade at the Apple Watch which by all accounts is Fitbit's nearest wearable rival, at least in terms of sales.

"I think it's a great product and Apple's a great company, but it's a product that probably does too much," said Park. "Really our research has shown that people who search for an interest in the Apple Watch do not overlap with people who search for and are interested in Fitbit."

Read this: New Fitbits go platinum in just one month

Considering the Fitbit Blaze is making a play as a fitness smartwatch, it's curious that Park thinks that smartwatches need this focus to succeed.

"I think the biggest problem with the category today is they do so many things and it hasn't been really clearly communicated to people why they should need one of these devices."

The average Fitbit user is a little bit overweight. They are more active than the average population but that's because we've managed to increase their activity levels over time.

Park also had a couple of interesting things to say about his own company. First up, that Fitbit engagement is increasing - 72% of people who bought a Fitbit in 2015 were still using it by the end of that year. That's apparently up on 2014 though Park didn't provide those figures.

He also shared some info on the average Fitbit user: "If you look at the aggregate of all of our users," he said, "actually they're not really that fit, the average Fitbit user is a little bit overweight; they are more active than the average population but we think that's because we've managed to increase their activity levels over time."

Read this: Fitbit Blaze review

The Blaze and the Alta are doing well but neither offers the new features that Fitbit's CEO has previously hinted at. Park continued to tease future sensors and software.

"While you're wearing these devices, I think there's huge opportunity for them to connect and interact with the broader world," he said, "whether its richer notifications or integration with the cars or homes or buildings or payments or [identity] authentication."

And: "A big part of our R&D going forward is our software intelligence that gives people insights and coaching."

We're looking forward to Fitbit pushing forward with insights and integrations now that it seems to have cornered both the fitness/ smartwatch crossover and casual fashion device.

3 Comments

  • kpbarbee says:

    The Fitbit CEO is wrong! The Apple Watch doesn't do too much, it TRIES to do to much, but fails most of the time. Have you ever gotten an app to startup on the Apple Watch in under 10 seconds? Not possible.

  • kpbarbee says:

    correction . . . "it TRIES to do too much..."

  • VitaminCeCe says:

    On the other hand, Fitbit seems to be getting complacent. Competitors are coming out with new devices and it puts out the same ones in new colors.. Nothing waterproof, nothing new really.

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