|Fitbit Blaze, the predecessor to the Fitbit Versa. / Photo by: DReifGalaxyM31 via Wikimeida Commons|
Fitbit announced that it had already sold more a million Versa smartwatches since the watch was first introduced in April 2018. The Versa, priced at US$200, is Fitbit’s fastest-selling product ever and is currently the best-selling smartwatch on Amazon. It is also Fitbit’s second stab at selling a smartwatch, the first being the clunky Iconic that retailed for US$300 but was not well-received by the public, according to Aaron Pressman, writing for Fortune magazine.
After a series of struggles and disappointments, it seems that Fitbit has a winner in its hands. The Versa is also a confirmation of the design philosophy adopted by CEO James Park, who made the watch smaller and cheaper than the Iconic and had a better fit on women’s wrists. It may not have the Iconic’s GPS tracking capability but that technology did not help in boosting Iconic’s sales.
The Versa is a godsend for Fitbit because sales of its fitness trackers have declined while the value of its stock had depreciated by 70 percent since the company went public in 2015. It also proves that Fitbit can offer serious competition to the Apple Watch which is the leader in the wearable market. The Versa has more apps than the Iconic and its battery can last for more than four days, an area where it is superior to the Apple Watch. It is also compatible with iPhones, Android, and Windows phones.
It is not only with the Versa that Fitbit is having some success. The company also reported that its female-oriented health tracking app is now being used by more than 2.4 million customers since the app was unveiled in late May 2018.
Such good fortune comes at a time when growth in the wearables market was stagnant in the first quarter of 2018. Shipments of smartwatches and other high-tech wearables for this period reached 25.1 million units, a mere one-percent increase in sales achieved in the first quarter of 2017, based on market data from International Data Corp.