Fitbit CEO talks down rumors of smartwatch production problems

Apparently it's all on track
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Fitbit has been talking revenues, projections and all other manner of serious business lingo this week. The upshot: its first-quarter loss was less than analysts had expected, leading to higher-than-predicted revenue. So that's nice. But revenue compared to Q1 2016 slumped -41%. Less nice.

It was a big quarter for the company with the launch of the Alta HR, its latest tracker, but like us, investors on the earnings call were more interested in the upcoming Fitbit smartwatch. CEO James Parks remained tight-lipped on the details, simply reiterating that he was "optimistic about the smartwatch category". Responding to a question about rumored production delays, Parks simply said everything was "on track" and that "business is going as planned".

Read this: Why there's hope for Fitbit's smartwatch yet

While Parks wouldn't elaborate beyond what we already know, he did reemphasise that battery life will be one of the smartwatch's strong points, along with an "amazing interactive experience". He also wouldn't confirm anything on cost, but said we can at least expect it to be in Fitbit's current price spectrum, topping out at $300. The upcoming watch is rumored to be priced at $300, so this might be a slight hint from Parks.

He also talked about streamlining the tracker category this year, which suggests we may see older devices like the Surge and original Flex phased out.

Another interesting stat mentioned in the first-quarter highlights was that 36% of new Fitbit device activations in the first quarter came from repeat purchases, of which 40% were customers who were inactive for 90 days or longer. So there are a fair few people falling out of love with their trackers but still getting pulled back in, it seems.

Fitbit CEO talks down rumors of smartwatch production problems

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Hugh Langley


Now at Business Insider, Hugh originally joined Wareable from TechRadar where he’d been writing news, features, reviews and just about everything else you can think of for three years.

Hugh is now a correspondent at Business Insider.

Prior to Wareable, Hugh freelanced while studying, writing about bad indie bands and slightly better movies. He found his way into tech journalism at the beginning of the wearables boom, when everyone was talking about Google Glass and the Oculus Rift was merely a Kickstarter campaign - and has been fascinated ever since.

He’s particularly interested in VR and any fitness tech that will help him (eventually) get back into shape. Hugh has also written for T3, Wired, Total Film, Little White Lies and China Daily.

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