Fitbit unveiled its first smartwatch in August, and now the company has announced that the Fitbit Ionic will be available for purchase starting October 1st for $300.
It’s up for pre-order now if feel like parting with you cash a bit early.
The Fitbit Ionic is a smartwatch with a 1.4 inch, 348 x 250 pixel touchscreen display, a Gorilla Glass 3 display, an aluminum frame, and a body designed to be water resistant up to 50 meters. It supports mobile payments and has a heart rate sensor and GPS, and it supports a range of fitness tracking features, as you’d expect from a Fitbit device.
But as the first full-fledged smartwatch from the company, this watch isn’t just going up against activity trackers. It’ll have to compete with the Apple Watch, Samsung’s Gear line of watches, and a bunch of devices running Google’s Android Wear software.
And it has to do all of that with a brand new operating system. Fitbit has launched a new SDK in an effort to attract developers to the platform. But Samsung, Google, and Apple have a huge head start, and it could be difficult for Fitbit to develop the ecosystem of third-party apps and watch faces available for those competing platforms.
Some big-name apps will be available on day one though, including StravA, Starbucks, Pandora, and AccuWeather. And it’s not like Fitbit doesn’t have a bit of expertise in this area: last year the company acquired (and then shut down) Pebble, one of the early players in the smartwatch space.
One thing that Fitbit’s watch has going for it that others don’t is support for up to 5 days of battery life. Many other smartwatches need to be charged at least a few times a week, if not daily.
This is what Pebble had to die for. A year late and this. By acquiring Pebble Fitbit had an appstore at hand with tens of thousands of apps and an active development community, a pretty solid SDK, an unique and well moldable OS that required next to nothing from the hardware, worked with both Android and iOS and supported all the sensors needed for a fitness watch. But no. Throw that all out for this. Because flat icons and high-res photos in the menus and touchscreen (for a fitness watch! How absurd!). At the very best they can hope to be what Windows Phone turned out to be next to Android and iOS or actually no, Tizen is that for the smartwatches, they can be the Firefox OS. Or maybe WebOS which is giving them too much credit, because WebOS was awesome at it’s time. Fitbit’s investors should have a long talk about the company management, because I don’t think they’ll make much of a profit from this endeavor.
Everything you said makes sense, but only for us that know these details. None of this makes any difference for the average boob.
I think there are JUST enough consumers out there that are comfortable with the simplicity of Fitness bands, but too intimidated by Smartwatches. This is a bridge-the-gap product that will probably sell for that reason.
Of course, most smartwatches have just the same amount (maybe even more) fitness features as this thing does, and some of them might even be simpler (for all we know). Whether or not it delivers makes no difference. It’s purely perception.
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