Fitbit announced a new device at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas today–a new wearable called the Blaze that looks a lot like a smartwatch–and Wall Street doesn’t appear to like Fitbit’s apparent move toward Apple Watch territory.
Fitbit’s announcement happened first thing Tuesday morning, and as of this writing at 2 p.m. ET, Fitbit stock is down 12.77%.
The $200 Blaze, while looking like a smartwatch (and not a very pretty one), is mainly a fitness tracker. The accelerometer and software inside tracks workouts and sleep patterns. The Blaze is the first Fitbit device to sport a color screen. The body of the device pops out so that the owner can easily use multiple bands.
But unlike other smartwatches, such as the Apple Watch, it doesn’t run third-party apps or make phone calls. Unlike the Fitbit Surge before it, the Blaze relies on a paired phone for GPS tracking (to map run routes). It also stores no music, but rather controls playback from a paired phone.
At first look the Blaze seems to be an awkward entry into a space somewhere between fitness tracker and smartwatch. Even at $200, consumers might have trouble finding reasons to buy a device that is less streamlined than last year’s Fitbit Surge, yet lacks the features commonly associated with smartwatches.
This may explain the Street’s reaction today.RP