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Is Fitbit’s smartwatch floundering before the finish line?

Fitbit’s ongoing efforts to bring the success of its fitness tracker range to the smartwatch scene could be on the ropes, according to a report on Friday.

Bloomberg sources say the forthcoming Fitbit watch could launch without an app store and claim progress has stalled  due to the loss of ’several people working on the project.’

According to the report, a proposed partnership with Spotify fell through earlier this year, forcing Fitbit to pursue a partnership with Pandora.

Related: Best Fitbit 2017

Meanwhile, other developers showing little enthusiasm for the product due to launch this autumn, according to the report, chosing to focus on creating tools for watchOS and Android Wear.

The company is also fighting internal skepticism, the report claims, with some employees unconvinced by the one-size, square-faced form factor and the Pebble-based software being pursued.

A source said: “They’re building something that people internally never believed in. They look reactionary not strategic.”

Fitbit has issued a statement to deny the claims.

“We can confirm that development of our smartwatch and our 3rd party apps are on track,” said a spokesperson (via Engadget).

“Any claims that the developer program is struggling are false. We look forward to working with the developer community to offer users the opportunity to curate their own Fitbit experience and, with our broad cross-platform compatibility and expertise in health and fitness, are well positioned to succeed.”

Best smartwatch

For the vast majority of the tech-buying public, smartwatches are still a pretty hard sell. Despite their obvious convenience they’re still far from necessary and often superfluous.

Even the finest among their ranks, like the Apple Watch 2 and the Android Wear-toting Casio WSD-F20 are far from perfect. In fact, we’ve never awarded more than 8/10 to any smartwatch.

So, a smartwatch that doesn’t hit all the right notes coming out of the gate, could be in for trouble.

Do you think Fitbit’s smartwatch can succeed in this climate? Share your thoughts below.