Beleaguered Fitbit’s ‘Ionic’ watch stumbles out of the gate

“It was hard to overstate how important the fourth quarter was going to be for Fitbit,” Evan Niu writes for The Motley Fool. “Recognizing the fundamental shifts in the wearables market, Fitbit started scooping up defunct start-ups that it could cobble together to create a smartwatch two years ago, including Coin, Pebble, and Vector.”

“Those efforts culminated with the launch of Ionic late last year, Fitbit’s first full-fledged smartwatch that supported third-party apps and mobile payments,” Niu writes. “Unfortunately for Fitbit, Ionic has stumbled out of the gate.”

“Fitbit reported fourth-quarter earnings last night, and the disappointing results and forecast have sent shares to all-time lows,” Niu writes. “Revenue was close to flat at $570.8 million, which translated into a non-GAAP net loss of $4.7 million, or $0.02 per share. Devices sold declined by 17% to 5.4 million. Fitbit’s guidance for the first quarter calls for revenue to fall 15%-20% to $240 million-$255 million, far short of the $340 million in sales that the Street was expecting… It’s becoming increasingly clear that Apple is eating Fitbit’s lunch.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple Watch roadkill.

Fitbit. Done in by a “toy.”

Fitbit devices are mere training wheels for Apple Watch. Fitbit products can only perform a very small subset of the kaleidoscopic range of features that Apple Watch offers users.

Fitbit is “beating” Apple in the same way as some Android phone and Windows PC makers are “beating” Apple: Unit sales. In other words, Fitbit (and some Android phone and Windows PC makers) can only “win” a race in which Apple does not compete.

Flooding the market with cheap junk is not winning. Selling units to the most desirable customers who spend billions within your ecosystems while reaping the lion’s share of the industry’s profits is winning. — MacDailyNews, April 20, 2016

Fitbit shares plunge on earning loss – February 26, 2018
Apple Watch sets new all-time record for wearables shipments; ‘Apple has won the wearables game’ – analyst – February 7, 2018
Apple Watch sales momentum is growing; unit sales now rival those of Macintosh – January 23, 2018
Apple Watch Series 3 shipments predicted to rise to 23-25 million in 2018 – December 14, 2017
Apple Watch: The war for wearables is over, and Apple won – December 12, 2017
Canalys estimates Apple shipped 3.9 million Apple Watch units in Q317, despite strong demand outstripping supply – November 14, 2017
Two weeks with Apple Watch, leaving iPhone at home – November 10, 2017
When Apple Watch surpassed iPod – November 8, 2017
Ten days in with Apple Watch Series 3: I’m amazed by how quickly it integrated into daily life – October 19, 2017
Why Apple Watch Series 3 is a game changer – October 19, 2017
First week with Apple Watch Series 3 (GPS + Cellular): Connectivity makes for a truly smart watch – October 9, 2017
Macworld reviews Apple Watch Series 3: The wearable leader runs out to an insurmountable lead – October 6, 2017
Jim Dalrymple reviews Apple Watch Series 3: ‘Do yourself a favor and get one’ – September 20, 2017
Wired reviews Apple Watch Series 3: ‘For the first time ever, I love the Apple Watch’ – September 20, 2017
9to5Mac reviews Apple Watch Series 3: Unlocks new potential with LTE, dramatically improved Siri – September 20, 2017
Ming-Chi Kuo: Apple Watch Series 3 LTE models selling much faster than expected – September 18, 2017
Why the carriers must drop the Apple Watch LTE connectivity tax – September 15, 2017
How much Apple Watch Series 3 data plans will cost on Verizon, T-Mobile, AT&T, and Sprint – September 14, 2017
Apple Watch, the world’s best-selling watch, can now work without an iPhone – September 12, 2017
New Apple Watch Series 3 delivers built-in cellular with powerful new health and fitness enhancements – September 12, 2017


  1. I am not surprised. I am not a big fan of the smart watch thing. I have not worn a watch in years. I have no need or desire for an Apple Watch, why would I even consider this one. Even the newest Apple Watch does not seem to solve any problem for me. If I was out and about all the time, I might consider one, but that is simply not my case.

    1. I was the same, crisrod63. I changed my mind when some friends were talking about counting their steps. Since getting my Fitbit, it has motivated me to walk 10k steps per day and I have lost over 25 pounds. I now wear it every day, happily. I do not need the bells and whistles of the Apple Watch. But fitness is one area where having the watch has really helped me.

      1. One advantage my gf’s Fitbit Alta HR has is continuous heart rate tracking, yet still lasts almost a week.

        Unless you’re specifically working out, Apple Watch only takes a sample every few (5? 10?) minutes. The Cardiogram app lets you switch it to continuous monitoring (every 5 seconds), but the battery drains within a few hours, certainly won’t last you the day.

  2. This may all be true. But Fitbit provides an attractive alternative for people who do not want or need the added bells and whistles of an Apple Watch. I LOVE my Fitbit Blaze. It cost me 1/3 what an Apple Watch would have. My wife LOVES her Apple Watch. But there is a place for both companies. Apple tends not to market to the lower profit areas; otherwise, Fitbit might be a decent acquisition for them to capture the entire market.

    1. But they don’t want to capture the entire market!

      They don’t want to be a monopoly. And they only want those customers who will pay and not whine about price. The low end that FitBit caters to, is not worth having!

      That is what people don’t understand about .

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