Got wearables? Of course, you do. Wired earbuds and headphones and wireless earbuds are wearables. Apple Watch and Fitbit gear, too. Wearables is Apple’s latest financial growth opportunity and the company struggles to keep them in stock.
What about Fitbit? Demand for almost any electronic wearable is growing by leaps over last year, so what is wrong with Fitbit?
First, the name. Fitbit says exercise but it should be obvious that the great unwashed masses of humanity that use wearables want their devices to do more than collect exercise data.
Apple Watch is the dominating kit in the wearables market and look at all it offers. A stylish device that can act as a phone, handles email and text messages, plus does even more than most for exercise and physical fitness customers.
Wearables seems to have two categories of products. Cheap. Expensive. You know which end of the scale Apple owns. That leaves the cheap end for Chinese brands. That puts Fitbit in the middle, squeezed by cheap devices at the low end, and with a ceiling at the premium end.
Fitbit is not growing and cannot compete well against Apple or against Chinese knockoff brands. Is it any wonder that Fitbit sold itself to Google for a paltry sum ($2.1 billion)?
Don’t expect much to change with Google as Fitbit’s new sugar daddy.
Google has a history of screwing up hardware purchases, and even with more money for research and development, and a better-known brand, Fitbit, as a brand, will remain where it is.
Stuck between a rock and a hard spot.