Fitbit may delay new Apple-competitor watch, headphones
Apr 13 2017
The products are are set to hit shelves in the second half of the year, after a design problems - like misplaced antennae fouling up Global Positioning System and trouble with waterproofing - delayed them from a planned launch in the first half, according to a report by Yahoo Finance, citing two unnamed people familiar with the matter.
Citing sources aware of the development, the report mentions that the company is faced with several technical difficulties including the Global Positioning System antenna not working in the final prototype and not being able to entirely waterproof the device. The antenna placement was such that the device couldn't get a strong signal - a pretty big miss for a fitness product. But if they want to go head to head with the Apple Watch Series 2, then having it not waterproof is a distinct disadvantage.
"In one of the more final prototypes, the Global Positioning System wasn't working because the antennae wasn't in the right place", one of those sources told YahooFinance. Indeed, it sounds entirely possible the watch will launch without waterproofing altogether. Fitbit had intentions to create a device that scored points in both design and functionality matters, with "focus on health and fitness". As the source says, the watch will offer the ability to stream Pandora sans phone, have a 1000 nits display - that's on par with the Apple Watch and twice as bright as most smartphones - and, crucially, last four days on a charge. But, this feature is still negotiable, and if push comes to shove, the company might just launch the smartwatch without it, seeing that not all of Fitbit's other devices are necessarily waterproof. That design was totally bland and unappealing, which YahooFinance confirms after taking a peek at a presentation deck shown to Fitbit's retail partners Best Buy and Target behind closed doors. They state that several employees have complained about the design, which resembles their already existing smartwatch offering - the Blaze. "It was very retro-looking with the lines and stuff - definitely not sexy", they said. All we know for now is that they are likely to come in two colours, "Nightfall Blue" and "Lunar Gray", and that they will be released alongside the new smartwatch. Some speculators even suggest that "it's literally sink or swim time" for Fitbit, but we shall wait at least until the fall, before we can venture any reasoned guesses about its future.
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