back to article Fitbit health alert: You appear to be bleeding

Fitbit's year-on-year losses grew fivefold to $113.4m compared to a year ago, with sales of 3.6 million devices in the quarter, 7 per cent up from the previous quarter. The firm admitted it had been a "difficult year" as the fitness band craze diminished, with sales down considerably compared to the same period of 2016. …

  1. ThomH

    I'm not sure about the two-horse race

    With HealthKit and Google Health anybody can make a device that contributes data to and consumes it from the same store as everybody else*, and a lot of companies are doing that in modest but profitable ways to different niches — those are the Polars, the Garmins, and the Xiaomis. There's no need to have a blockbuster device, and if you look at Fitbit's result then it looks like it's not even necessarily workable to try.

    * other than Fitbit, which likes to own your data for itself.

    1. Brangdon

      Re: I'm not sure about the two-horse race

      I'd say three horse. If you want a fitness tracker that will be able to make mobile payments, then it's just Apple, Fitbit and Garmin. I have a Fitbit and Garmin. The Garmin has the benefit of a 9-day battery life and an always-on display, but I'm currently finding it a bit flaky in other ways. Vibrates randomly and heart-rate can be inaccurate. Shame.

  2. rob_leady

    Poor build quality to blame ?

    I don't think I know anyone who has owned a Fit Bit who hasn't had a free of charge replacement, if not two, as their build quality is (or was) so poor...

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: Poor build quality to blame ?

      I think they could have made them even worse - they only need to last two weeks which seems to be the maximum time it takes people to get bored posting how many step/calories/wanks they've burnt up on farcbook.

    2. djstardust

      Re: Poor build quality to blame ?

      Exactly. We bought two Fitbit Charge 2 trackers in January and both the straps and entire devices have already been replaced.

      The build quality is shockingly bad so this isn't a surprise at all.

      Their support is poor, the app erratic at best so can't see them surviving in the longer term.

      1. chris 143

        Re: Poor build quality to blame ?

        Gluing hard plastic and flexible straps together can't be easy, but they've not managed to solve the problem either.

        But my other half has the ALTA and metal strap. Which managed about 9 months before it also broke. So it's more than just issues with glue. Feels like there could be something lacking in the basic design quality too

    3. Hugh McIntyre

      Re: Poor build quality to blame ?


      Charge HR needed replacement because of bubble unglued from strap after 6-9 months. Then a second one failed the same way and got replaced by Charge 2, and it failed after ~ 3 months because of the charger dying.

      I want to like FitBit, but if these quality issues are common it can't be helping the losses :(

      1. Rob Daglish

        Re: Poor build quality to blame ?

        I may be the exception that proves the rule, but my Alta HR has been pretty much bombproof. It's even survived a dunk or two in the fish tank to try and kill it in my attempt to persuade SWMBO that I need an Apple Watch 3...

  3. AidanH

    "It's looking more like a two-horse race"

    Two horse? Err, Garmin, Suunto, TomTom, etc.

    I don't really want a watch which does the things that my phone does, except worse.

    Fitness companies have been making GPS watches for years, more recently added fitness tracking and phone integration. Having started with a product that actually did something people wanted (tracking sports, sometimes navigation), I think they're still ahead of the tech companies.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I'll stick with my Pebble Time thank you very much. Nothing personal but I don't approve of them just buying up any start-up who makes a nice product that could be a strong competitor.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Didn't Fitbit buy Pebble because Pebble went bust?

      1. chris 143

        I don't think quite true but being acquired was probably the only way various investors would be seeing their profit.

        Did think having seen a advert for this watch that it might be the result of some of the software /people it acquired from pebble

      2. mmaug

        Pebble v FitBit

        Have a Pebble 2 and a FitBit Alta. I can sit for 8 hours and the FitBit congratulates me for walking up 9 stories! The Pebble 2 has been accurate and integrates with multiple apps. Sorry to se Pebble go away, but hope that some of their knowledge and experience rubs off.

  5. JimboSmith Silver badge

    Yeah that's true but they also bought Vector Watch this year.

  6. Version 1.0 Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    I love Fitbit

    I bought one (Charge 2) to play with and wasn't expecting too much from it but it's been very reliable and is far more accurate than I expected ... I like playing with biomedical sensors (my day job too) and the combination of sensors and software in the Fitbit product seems excellent. There's always room for improvement of course but for a basic fitness tracker, it does a fine job. I just bought the internet connected bathroom scale too.

    And no, I don't work for them of have any interest in the company - frankly I didn't expect it to work even half as well as it does.

    1. Andy Non Silver badge

      Re: I love Fitbit

      I've had a charge 2 for three months now and love it. Not keen on the default sweaty plastic strap so replaced it straight away with a decent leather one. The gadget has really helped to push me and give me targets, hourly, daily and more long term. It is a decent tool if used correctly in combination with a healthy diet and exercise rather than just being a fashion accessory. I walk briskly 5 to 10 miles per day. I've lost over three stone and am much fitter. I'm also free of type 2 diabetes now and no longer need to take all the associated medication. It was money very well spent in my case.

      1. Version 1.0 Silver badge

        Re: I love Fitbit

        The neat thing about trackers for geeky folk like us is that it gives decent information about activity and calorie intake and output ... so right now I'm having a Newcastle Brown Ale (2:30pm) and not feeling even a little bit guilty - I'll go run a couple more miles in another hour.

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