Fitbit unveils Versa 2 smartwatch with Amazon’s Alexa

FILE PHOTO: The ticker symbol for Fitbit is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

FILE PHOTO: The ticker symbol for Fitbit is displayed at the post where it is traded on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) February 23, 2016. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) – Fitbit Inc (FIT.N) on Wednesday launched its latest smartwatch, Versa 2, adding Amazon.com Inc’s (AMZN.O) voice assistant Alexa, online payments and music storage in a bid to compete strongly with Apple Inc’s (AAPL.O) smartwatches.

Pre-orders for Versa 2, which is priced at $200, will start later in the day, the company said, adding that the smartwatch would be available in stores on Sept. 15.

Fitbit has struggled to gain a foothold in the smartwatch category as Apple and Samsung (005930.KS) have cornered a bigger share of the market with more sophisticated devices, while its dominant share of the fitness tracking sector continues to be chipped away by cheaper offerings from China’s Huawei and Xiaomi (1810.HK), among others.

Fitbit last month cut its 2019 revenue forecast, blaming disappointing sales of Versa Lite smartwatches, a cheaper version that lacked features such as the ability to store music.

“While Versa Lite received good present consumer reviews, we saw that consumers were willing to pay more for a smartwatch with additional features,” Chief Executive Officer James Park said on an earnings call with analysts earlier this month.

Fitbit separately launched Fitbit Premium, which will give its users personalized coaching including health reports, workouts and sleep features at a cost of $9.99 per month, beginning September.

The San Francisco-based wearables pioneer, which has seen its shares sink in the past two years, has been looking for new avenues to boost sales.

Last week, it signed a contract with the Singapore government to provide fitness trackers and services in a health program it said could reach up to one million users.

Reporting by Neha Malara in Bengaluru; Editing by Bernard Orr and Anil D’Silva

Leave a Reply