“Fitbit’s first ‘proper’ smartwatch and first-ever pair of bluetooth headphones are due out this fall after a series of production mishaps delayed the project,” JP Mangalindan reports for Yahoo Finance. “The fitness tracker company’s smartwatch project has been a troubled one. Production problems have forced Fitbit to push an original spring launch to this fall, according to two sources familiar with the matter. ‘In one of the more final prototypes, the GPS wasn’t working because the antennae wasn’t in the right place,’ one of those sources told Yahoo Finance. ‘They had to go back to the drawing board to redesign the product so the GPS got a strong signal.'”

“Fitbit’s design team also ran into problems making its smartwatch fully waterproof, even though that’s a key design element for the Apple Watch Series 2. Indeed, it’s still unclear as of the publication of this article whether the device will launch with the waterproof feature. If it isn’t waterproof, critics may perceive it to be an inferior product to Apple’s — especially given that the device will launch roughly a year after the Apple Watch Series 2,” Mangalindan reports. “‘Regardless of whether Fitbit manages to make it waterproof, I think they have to release the watch later this year,’ one of our sources familiar with the matter told Yahoo Finance. ‘It’s literally sink or swim time for them.'”

Fitbit's Blaze watch

Fitbit’s Blaze watch

FitBit’s watch “will let users swap watch bands when it hits shelves later this year for around $300. Yahoo Finance viewed the presentation deck Fitbit showed retail partners like Best Buy and Target behind closed doors. That deck revealed a general design aesthetic that resembles a product in the company’s current product line: the Blaze,” Mangalindan reports. “‘It was very retro-looking with the lines and stuff — definitely not sexy,’ one source told Yahoo Finance. Several employees who saw the design complained about it, the source said.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: There is no way Palm, er… Fitbit can hang with Apple Inc. They’re years behind already. The money just isn’t there. The engineering, design, and marketing talent isn’t there. The retail reach and product support aren’t there. They have built up some brand recognition, but that, too, will fade more quickly than many realize.

By the time Fitbit gets their latest mess on the market, Apple Watch Series 3 will already be there.

Apple Watch sales hit all-time high while Fitbit stumbles – March 2, 2017
The Apple Watch is winning – March 2, 2017
Apple Watch had massive holiday quarter; took nearly 80% share of total smartwatch revenue – February 10, 2017
The Apple Watch ‘WOW’ moment – February 3, 2017
Apple Watch dominates with 63% of worldwide smartwatch market – February 2, 2017
Apple smashes Street; iPhone, Services, Mac and Apple Watch set all-time records – January 31, 2017
Apple Watch has blood on its hands: Pebble is dead – December 7, 2016
Apple Watch Series 2 threatens Fitbit – October 13, 2016
Apple Watch has blood on its hands: ‘Microsoft Band’ wearable is dead – October 4, 2016
Computerworld reviews Apple Watch Series 2: It’s time to jump in – September 27, 2016
Ars Technica reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Great experience with very few hiccups’ – September 22, 2016
Mossberg reviews Apple’s watchOS 3: Quicker, easier, and more useful – September 21, 2016
CNET reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘The smooth wrist companion it was always meant to be’ – September 14, 2016
WSJ reviews Apple Watch Series 2: ‘Apple Watch finds its purpose in life’ – September 14, 2016
The Verge reviews Apple Watch Series 2: There’s something effortlessly cool about it – September 14, 2016
Apple Watch Series 2: Apple refocuses its smartwatch – September 12, 2016
Studies show Fitbit trackers are ‘highly inaccurate’ – May 23, 2016