Fitbit CEO: Apple Watch Is Doing It Wrong
As far as features are concerned, Fitbit wearable devices are certainly not as packed as Apple’s smartwatch. But the company does not mind that at all, as expressed by James Park, the chief executive officer of Fitbit. As a matter of fact, Park seems to think that the Apple Watch wants to be everything in the eyes of mobile users.
For certain, the Apple Watch is capable of a lot of things -- showing the time and date, tracking fitness and health related data, and providing additional mobile computing apart from the iPhone, among many others. Fitbit’s activity and fitness tracking wearable devices, on the other hand, are essentially just single mode gadgets. But according to Park, Fitbit single minded approach may be better compared to Apple’s mindset of positioning the Apple Watch as a computing platform, not just a smartwatch.
Few can deny the Apple Watch’s impact on the smartwatch industry, never mind the whole wearables market. The release of Apple’s smartwatch one year ago helped immensely in popularizing smartwatches and other wearable devices. Sure, wearables have been made available in the market for several years now, but the introduction of the Apple Watch has done wonders in bringing more exposure to these gadgets. Some industry watchers even claim that the Apple Watch has galvanized the industry by encouraging Apple’s competitors (Samsung, LG, Motorola) to also ramp up their efforts with regards to their respective smartwatch offerings.
As for Fitbit, it may not be as flashy as the Apple brand, but it is no slouch either. The Apple Watch may have taken the wearables market by storm, but to date, Fitbit’s devices remain the best selling wearable products around the world. During the final quarter of last year, Fitbit shipped 8.1 million units of wearable devices, easily surpassing the 4.1 million units of Apple Watches shipped in the same period.
And whereas Apple’s approach is noisy and hip, Fitbit’s is a lot simpler. As a matter of fact, when the company first introduced its products, it started with a consumer friendly device, then gradually added features later on, always making sure the new functionalities it incorporated were actually useful.
In the case of the Apple Watch, Park thinks that the decision to cram loads of different features in the Apple smartwatch may not be the perfect idea, considering that to date, people still do not actually have a clue how smartwatches should be used realistically, except as time keeping or fitness tracking gadgets.
Of course, Apple (and its legion of fans) will disagree, and by saying those words, Park may have just incurred the wrath of Tim Cook and his crew. The onus is now on Apple to have Park eat his words. But until then, Park and Fitbit remain the undisputed smartwatch champs.