Janis is a cryptocurrency enthusiast and a bitcoin adherent. He has a background in video production, but for the past couple of years, he is a full-time crypto researcher and writer. He has a good understanding of multiple cryptocurrencies and loves to cover daily news. He considers himself a semi-bitcoin maximalist but always is open to any kind of new ideas that could be put on the blockchain. In his free time, he likes skateboarding and cars.
Fitbit, a smartphone wearables company, released its new Smartwatch Versa 2 upgrade. It comes with a few next-generation upgrades along with the Amazon’s Alexa addition. Also, the company announced the launch of its subscription service.
Fitbit came into the market by offering an “affordable” ($160) smartwatch version compared to Apple. However, the company didn’t do that good in sales, as the new quarterly revenue turned out to be decreased by 27% year over year. Smartwatches make up 36% of the company’s total revenue, so this is quite a big deal. According to this, the company cut its revenue forecast for the next year.
Basically, this all is because of Apple. Apple’s smartwatch is full of features and it costs quite more. But that is the price the customer is willing to pay. On the other side, Fitbit’s products were only a purpose-built product – a fitness tracker.
So when you are comparing a fitness tracker to Apple’s health tracker, music player, payment extension, etc., you’re not in front of a hard decision. Apple Watch users can even call an Uber, they can answer calls, use Apple Pay on it and several other stuff.
However, now the company has taken some extra steps and now they are releasing the new upgraded version for Versa 2 along with a completely new subscription service.
First off, the company highlights one of the biggest additions to the Versa 2 smartwatch – Amazon‘s Alexa. The new version will be arriving in stores in about 2 weeks and will cost somewhat around $200. So to start off, the new Versa 2 will have an upgraded display, a much faster processor, and the battery life will be extended to as much as 5 days.
So what about the Alexa addition? Well, it sounds good but it isn’t as good as we could imagine. Yes, users can talk to Alexa and she can do most of the functions she’s made to do, that includes: search for information, control smart home devices, find businesses, start and stop timers, and several other stuff. However, while users can talk to Alexa from their Versa 2, Alexa can’t talk back to them as the Versa 2 doesn’t have any speakers. The answers are delivered via text messages.
There are speculations that sooner or later, Alexa will have access to fitness tracker controls.
Also, along with this new upgrade to Versa 2, Fitbit announced a new subscription service called Fitbit Premium. Users can get access to guided plans and workouts as well as “a customized mix of suggestions based on user’s collected fitness data,” describes Fitbit. The subscription costs $10 for a month or $80 a year.
Since the announcement, Fitbit (FIT) stock price has been rising. On August 27th, the stock’s price reached an all-time low of $2.83, but since then managed to recover and now is sitting at $3.02. FIT stock has been on a continuous decline since 2015, when its price was around $35 – $40. So you can imagine how much the company has lost in terms of valuation, in the past years.
Meanwhile, September seems to be a big month for smartwatches. Apart from Fitbit’s new Versa 2 which will arrive in stores on September 15, there’s Samsung, who has a new smartwatch arriving two days earlier. Let us also not forget about the new Apple Watch, which is likely around the corner, too.