Fitbit's Global Positioning System smartwatch reportedly won't launch until the fall
- Author: Patricia Jimenez Apr 13, 2017,
Apr 13, 2017, 0:53
So far, the closest Fitbit has come to building a smartwatch is its Blaze activity tracker. The company is reportedly having to deal with production problems that have pushed the launch window from spring to the fall.
The company's first official smartwatch, as well as an upcoming pair of Bluetooth headphones, have been plagued by production issues, including problems with the watch's Global Positioning System antennae and challenges around waterproofing the device, the report says. In an attempt to develop a completely feature-packed device, Fitbit seems to have crammed components and the Global Positioning System didn't exactly work as expected - or the antenna didn't work at all.
In one of their final prototypes, the Global Positioning System was actually not working, and having one is a differentiating factor that they were going to push.
Also noted were problems making the smartwatch fully waterproof, and it's unclear if that feature will be included - a sizable drawback given Apple's Watch Series 2. (NASDAQ:AAPL) Watch Series 2. It is now unknown whether Fitbit will be able to solve their waterproofing difficulties in time for the launch, which has been pushed to fall. "It's literally sink or swim time for them". Similar features that will make it a competitor to Apple and other Android Wear watches are heart-rate monitoring, NFC payments, and on-board music storage (using Pandora on Fitbit). Several employees who saw the design complained about it, the source said. That design was totally bland and unappealing, which Yahoo Finance confirms after taking a peek at a presentation deck shown to Fitbit's retail partners Best Buy and Target behind closed doors. The Fitbit earphones "will hang around your neck" and launch alongside the new smartwatch in two colors called "Nightfall Blue" and "Lunar Gray".
"It was very retro-looking with the lines and stuff - definitely not sexy", one source told Yahoo Finance.