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article imageFitbit's Blaze off to a blazing start, 1m sold in first month

By James Walker     Apr 1, 2016 in Technology
Fitbit has managed to surprise investors by selling over 1 million of its new Alta and Blaze fitness wearables each in the first month of availability. Shares fell at the announcement of the devices which now appear to be an unexpected hit with customers.
Fitbit announced the Blaze in January at CES 2016. It markets the device as a "smart fitness watch," creating a new kind of category that blends its traditional fitness trackers with a smartwatch design and features.
Fitbit's radical new device concerned investors though. With no clear focus or market segment to target, the Apple Watch-lookalike managed to drag Fitbit stock down by 18 percent immediately after launch.
In February, Fitbit announced another new product, a more traditional fitness tracker designed to look stylish as well as be functional. The Alta is a low-profile wrist band that largely replaces the Charge, one of Fitbit's most popular products. It uses a metal frame and curved display that looks elegant when in use, adding a style element not found in other Fitbit products. Investors remained wary at the announcement though, in part because Alta doesn't really have any greater functionality than Fitbit's existing line-up.
As it turns out, investors needn't have worried so much though. The company announced today it has sold over 1 million Blaze smartwatches, priced at $200 each, and another 1 million $130 Alta wrist bands in just the first month of availability. Fitbit has shipped a total of 200 million units of the new devices, an extraordinarily positive response to both products.
Alta has only been on sale for three weeks, shifting over 300,000 units per week. Almost 78% of customers have ranked Alta as 4- or 5-stars on Amazon, rising to nearly 83 percent 4- or 5-star ratings for the Blaze.
"At Fitbit, we continue to focus on developing innovative and motivating fitness-first products that our customers love and that help them achieve their health and fitness goals," said Woody Scal, Fitbit Chief Business Officer. "The positive response we’ve received to Blaze and Alta demonstrates our continued ability to innovate and drive strong demand for Fitbit® products, which is what has made and kept us the leader in the global wearables category."
Fitness trackers are still a comparatively niche product. Fitbit devices work with the majority of smartphones including iOS, Android and Windows phones but the company still struggles to convince people they need accurate step tracking, exercise reminders and sleep tracking throughout the day.
Smartwatches like the Apple Watch take a different approach, extending the smartphone experience while also tracking key fitness statistics. With Blaze, Fitbit has tried to blend the two, bringing elements of a smartwatch to a primarily fitness-focused product. Contrary to initial investor views, it looks as though the idea has paid off, although Fitbit will need to hope that sales continue to remain strong.
More about Fitbit, fitness tracker, smartwatch, Fitness, Sales
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