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Report: Fitbit’s smartwatch facing big production problems

Fitbit’s Blaze “smart fitness watch”, launched last year, was the company’s first attempt at a quasi-smartwatch design, and rumours of a “full” smartwatch quickly followed the launch.

Once the company bought crowdfunding success story Pebble last year, the rumours intensified, and finally the firm’s CEO confirmed the existence of such a product this year.

But it seems the smartwatch has faced a number of issues which have caused it to be significantly delayed, according to a new report from Yahoo Finance.

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The report claims the smartwatch will debut alongside the company’s first ever Bluetooth headphones in ‘fall’ this year, following a series of “production mishaps” which have delayed the project from launching during its original spring time-frame.

Citing “two sources familiar with the matter”, it goes on to claim problems with the GPS, waterproofing, and the overall look of the device were to blame for the delay.

One of the sources told Yahoo: “In one of the more final prototypes, the GPS wasn’t working because the antennae wasn’t in the right place.They had to go back to the drawing board to redesign the product so the GPS got a strong signal.”

Waterproofing was also reportedly a big issue for the team working on the product, with the report claiming it’s unknown whether the watch will arrive with the feature when it launches.

fitbit logo

At this point, the claims made in the report are far from verified, and there’s no way to know whether they’re accurate, so bear that in mind.

Fitbit told Yahoo: “We know there is a lot of interest in our entry into the smartwatch category. We don’t have news to share at this time and do not comment on rumours or speculation.”

The sources go on to reveal some rumoured specs for the watch, including a colour display with 1,000 nits of brightness, a built-in GPS chip, heart-rate monitoring, contactless payment support, Pandora support, and four days battery life.

The whole thing will apparently be housed in an aluminium unibody design, which will allow for the usual changeable watch bands.

Yahoo Finance also says it has seen images of the smartwatch which were shown to retailers, and that the watch resembles the FitBit Blaze.

According to the sources, the “retro-looking” design was met with disapproval from some and proved to be another issue in the product’s development.

So, will the watch actually arrive this year, given the numerous issues it’s reportedly faced? As one of the sources told Yahoo: “Regardless of whether Fitbit manages to make it waterproof, I think they have to release the watch later this year.”

And when it launches, the sources claim it will go on sale for $300, which works out to around £240.

Again, we can’t verify any of the information as accurate, but it looks as though we can at least hold out some hope the watch will arrive this year.

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Let us know what you think of the report in the comments.

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