Will the Fitbit smartwatch ever launch? Was the Pebble acquisition all for naught?

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Fitbit essentially acquired all of the ingredients necessary to create the perfect smartwatch — Coin had the assets for a mobile payments tidal wave, Vector had some software and hardware design and Pebble had pretty much everything else with a platform being most the crucial piece to it.

This health band maker, in a declining market, should’ve been a smartwatch maker by now.

Alas, sources have told Bloomberg that among the issues that have pushed a potential product launch from this spring to this fall is the lack of a finished app store and malaise among smartwatch app developers over this upcoming ecosystem.

A deal with Spotify fell through while other developers just don’t see the user base potential. When inquired by Bloomberg, Fitbit responded that “any claims that the developer program is struggling is false.” The hope now is to land an app partnership with Pandora and hope that a new JavaScript coding bridge will lead to more bites on the hook.

There’s also struggle in getting the app store model firmed up. While a Pebble-like operating system will fuel the ground level experience on this new Fitbit watch, it will be the tethered phone that contains the app store as well as the download and beaming processes.

We’re wondering where all the mojo went — most of the Pebble carry-overs that started the smartwatch project in California have reportedly left Fitbit. There is another Pebble team with Fitbit in Ottawa, though.

GPS tracing and water resistance have also posed challenges to the development process. But for all of this, we could be looking at a very rough Apple Watch Series 3 competitor with just about the same Apple Watch price tag of just under $300.

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About The Author
Jules Wang

Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.