Fitbit on Wednesday launched its latest smartwatch, Versa 2, adding Amazon.com's voice assistant Alexa, online payments and music storage in a bid to compete strongly with Apple's smartwatches. Pre-orders for Versa 2, which is priced at $200, will start later in the day, the company said, adding that the smartwatch would be available in stores on September 15. Also unveiled was the Fitbit Aria Air, a low-cost Bluetooth-enabled scale that tracks the user's weight. The company separately launched Fitbit Premium, which will give its users personalised coaching including health reports, workouts and sleep features at a cost of $9.99 per month, beginning September.
In India, the Fitbit Versa 2 has been priced at Rs. 20,999 in Black with a Carbon case, Petal with a Copper Rose Aluminium case, and Stone with a Misty Grey case. The Fitbit Versa 2 Special Edition will be priced at Rs. 22,999, and available in Navy and Pink with a Copper Rose Aluminium case, as well as Smoke with a Mist Grey case. It will go on sale via Amazon, Flipkart, Reliance Digital, Croma, Helios, and other retailers. Exact India availability has yet to be disclosed.
The Fitbit Aria Air is priced at Rs. 4,999, and will go on sale via Amazon, Flipkart, Reliance Digital, Croma, and other retailers. While India availability is yet to be announced, it will go on sale globally in late September. Finally, the Fitibit Premium subscription will be available this fall, priced at Rs. 819 per month or Rs. 6,999 a year.
Fitbit has struggled to gain a foothold in the smartwatch category as Apple and Samsung have cornered a bigger share of the market with more sophisticated devices, while its dominant share of the fitness tracking sector continues to be chipped away by cheaper offerings from China's Huawei and Xiaomi, among others.
Fitbit last month cut its 2019 revenue forecast, blaming disappointing sales of Versa Lite smartwatches, a cheaper version that lacked features such as the ability to store music.
"While Versa Lite received good present consumer reviews, we saw that consumers were willing to pay more for a smartwatch with additional features," Chief Executive Officer James Park said on an earnings call with analysts earlier this month.
Versa 2 and Fitbit Premium are steps to upsell to its existing base of 27 million users by adding more features, according to Scott Searle from Roth Capital Partners.
Searle added that Fitbit Premium provides sleep guidance and insights enabled by 10.5 billion nights of sleep data gathered from its previous models that give it an edge over Apple's watches.
Fitbit provides five days of battery life on an average against Apple's watches that only have a day of battery life and loses sleep data as it is charged overnight, he added.
The San Francisco-based wearables pioneer, which has seen its shares sink in the past two years, has been looking for new avenues to boost sales.
Last week, it signed a contract with the Singapore government to provide fitness trackers and services in a health program it said could reach up to 1 million users.