Fitbit’s upcoming smartwatch has reportedly been a giant mess

Yahoo Finance has nabbed a couple of photos
reported to show Fitbit’s upcoming smartwatch, along with a
handful of reports that make the whole undertaking sound like
one big fiasco. Sources are talking complaints about design,
production delays, antenna issues and software problems.

The device looks to share design language with the company’s Blaze device,
which was something between a fitness tracker and a
full-fledged smartwatch. A source told Yahoo that the device,
codenamed “Higgs,” is “definitely not sexy,” which the renders
seem to bear out.

It’s said to sport GPS, have local storage for music and
built-in heart-rate monitoring. The contactless payment and
four-day battery life, meanwhile, seem like no-brainers, given
some of the acquisitions the company has made over the past
year. It’s also apparently scheduled to arrive with some
optional Bluetooth headphones, marking a new product category
for the wearable maker.

The device was reportedly due out in the spring in an attempt
to get it out well before Apple’s next watch announcement, but
a number of factors have apparently pushed it back to the fall.
Among them are GPS problems due to antenna placement and some
recently reported software

As a number of other hardware makers have been abandoning the
smartwatch space due to declining consumer interest, Fitbit has
run toward it, picking up troubled pioneer Pebble, along with Vector and Coin in hopes of making a device that
would crack the whole space wide open, as few beyond Apple and
Garmin are really making a go of things.

Fitbit’s been undergoing its own growing pains in recent years,
but CEO James Park believes that a well-made smartwatch could
be precisely what turns around the wearable maker’s fortunes.

“We believe we are uniquely positioned to succeed in delivering
what consumers are looking for in a smartwatch: stylish,
well-designed devices that combine the right general purpose
functionality with a focus on health and fitness,” Park said in
a statement that arrived as the company was announcing
a six percent staff cut. “With the
recent acquisition of assets from Pebble, Vector Watch and
Coin, we are taking action to position the company for
long-term success.”

The future success of the company is a lot to hang on a single
device, and as such Fitbit has clearly invested everything
into the product. Perhaps too much, in fact. Three
acquisitions, disrupting the smartwatch space and its own
long-term health are a lot to pour into a single device.
Fitbit will really need to get this one right. Thus far, at
least, it sounds like it’s been doing anything but.

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Fitbit’s upcoming smartwatch has reportedly been a giant mess

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