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Fitbit smartwatch confirmed for 2017 — but is time running out?

Fitbit has confirmed its long-promised smartwatch will arrive in time for the holiday season.

The wearable tech pioneer addressed the planned launch during a troubling earnings call on Wednesday.

CEO James Park said the watch will introduce many features not yet widely seen in the sector. These include 50-metres water resistance and proper cross-platform compatibility.

He also confirmed the presence of a custom operating system, with an SDK designed to enable innovation pertaining to health care.

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He said: “Our upcoming smartwatch device will deliver a combination of features that consumers have not yet seen in a smartwatch, including a health and fitness-first focus, cross-platform compatibility, water resistance to 50 meters, industry-leading GPS tracking, and an easy-to-use software developer kit that will enable innovation and deeper connections to the health care system.

“All of this will come with multi-day battery life at an attractive price.”

Last we heard, the smartwatch project appeared to be in trouble. The firm lost several key employees, while there were also reports of internal discord about the decision to go for a bespoke Pebble-based OS rather than Android Wear.

In June a source told Bloomberg: “They’re building something that people internally never believed in. They look reactionary not strategic.”

Fitbit at a loss?

In its quarterly filings the firm revealed a net loss of $58 million and a dramatic fall in revenue. It brought in just $353m compared to the $586m during the same quarter last year.

Shares are down almost 90% since its ill-fated stock market flotation. The smartwatch is starting to look like a last chance saloon for Fitbit.

Can the company’s long-awaited smartwatch provide an alternative to the Android Wear vs Apple Watch duopoly? Or is this launch doomed to failure? Tweet us @TrustedReviews.


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