Fitbit targets Apple Watch with the launch of the Ionic smartwatch

Priced at $299.95, the Ionic smartwatch has a host of features with its major selling points being battery charge of at least 4 days, 50 metres water resistant, sleep tracking and GPS.

In a strategic step Fitbit Inc launched its newest device, the Ionic smartwatch which not only has fitness tracking but also contactless payment, as it prepares a lineup to match those of Apple Inc.

A one time market leader, the company has struggled in the face of fierce competition and shifting consumer choices of feature-rich smartwatches and has seen its revenues decline as a result.

Apart from fitness features, which include heart rate tracking, the Ionic smartwatches also sports GPS, Fitbit Pay, a variety of clock faces, on-board music, water resistance up to 50 meters and a battery that will last at least 4 days, said the company in a statement.

“Over the coming months you will be able to add eligible American Express cards, as well as Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards from top issuing banks in over 10 markets across the globe,” said Fitbit.

The watch also features a novel sensor technology, relative SpO2 sensor which can estimate oxygen levels in the blood that have the potential to track sleep apnea among others.

Fitbit’s pricing strategy has placed it at $299.95, just above Apple Watch’s starting price of $269.

“Fitbit can take some market share from Apple by appealing to those who are more focused on fitness, however, we do not expect this to be a significant share of Apple’s overall smartwatch sales,” said Alicia Reese, an analyst at Wedbush Securities.

The Ionic smartwatch will be available for pre-sale from Monday on Fitbit’s website. From Tuesday it will feature in other online retailers as well, said the company in a statement.

Fitbit has also launched Flyer wireless headphones as well as the Aria 2 smart scale.


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