HIGHLIGHTS:Fitbit launched its cheapest smartwatch on Wednesday to defend its position as the second-largest seller of smartwatches after Apple. San Francisco-based Fitbit said the Versa Lite smartwatch will cost $160, down from $200 for the full version. While still tracking workouts and heart rate, it will lack some features such as the ability to store music directly on the watch. Further, the company unveiled the new Ace 2 fitness tracker for kids. The company also revealed that it plans a launch a paid premium service for its customers later this year, however it did not share any specifics.
In 2018, Fitbit sold 5.5 million smartwatches, behind the biggest seller Apple’s 22.5 million units, but just ahead of Samsung’s 5.3 million units, according to data firm Strategy Analytics.
But Samsung overtook Fitbit on a quarterly basis in the last three months of 2018.
Indeed, rivalry for a greater share of the market has heated up as Apple and Samsung have added features for health tracking, Fitbit’s core focus. The Apple Watch included an electrocardiogram feature last year, and Samsung this year added a blood pressure sensor to its Galaxy Active Watch.
“With our newest products, we’re delivering high-quality, easy-to-use wearables that are more affordable, so getting healthy can be accessible to people of all ages and activity levels – even those who have never tried a wearable,” said James Park, co-founder and CEO of Fitbit in a statement.