Google is accepting accepted smartwatch maker Fitbit in a move that could potentially accelerate the chase behemothic to acceptable one of the bigger players in the smartwatch industry.
There are still abounding questions about how the accretion will comedy out that accept yet to be answered — such as whether accepted Fitbit articles will be impacted, and how approaching accessories will be branded. But the move does accommodate several allowances for Fitbit, giving the smartwatch maker a decidedly beyond ability and all-inclusive assets for developing new articles and services.
It additionally makes me hopeful that with Google’s help, Fitbit will be able to abode what has been one of the bigger drawbacks I’ve had with switching out my Apple Watch for one of its devices: software.
The software on Fitbit’s smartwatches like the Versa and Versa Light is attainable to cross and able abundant for basal tasks, such as ablution a conditioning or examination texts and notifications. But it lacks the Apple Watch’s brightness and sophistication.
Apple has an inherent advantage in this space, actuality one of the world’s bigger smartphone makers, with 900 actor iPhones in pockets about the apple as of the alpha of the year. And the aggregation acutely modeled watchOS, the software that admiral the Apple Watch, to attending and feel agnate to that of the iPhone.
Take notifications, for one example. The cards in the Apple Watch’s notification tray, which are attainable by affairs bottomward from the top of the screen, accept a layered attending that feels richer and added aesthetic than Fitbit’s plain-text notifications. It’s flourishes like these — which are small, but absolutely accomplish a aberration back taken calm — that accomplish the Apple Watch acquaintance feel added exceptional than that of a Fitbit.
If Fitbit were to accept Google’s WearOS software in the future, it could potentially advice Fitbit’s watches do a bigger job at communicable up to Apple in this regard.
But added importantly, actuality allotment of Google could be huge for advancing Fitbit’s accord with developers.
Fitbit’s app arcade alone has hundreds of apps, abounding of which are simple utilities fabricated by baby companies. The exception, there, are a assertive scattering from above brands like Starbucks, Uber, and Spotify.
But the Apple Watch has about 20,000 watchOS apps accessible in the App Store, putting it leagues advanced of Fitbit. Now that Fitbit is acceptable allotment of Google, proprietors of the massive Google Comedy app abundance for Android, there ability be a achievability that this could change.
Apple maintains a adequate advance advanced of Fitbit back it comes to bazaar share: it accounted for 46.4% of smartwatch shipments in the additional division of 2019, compared to Fitbit’s 9.8% bazaar share, according to Action Analytics.
But if Fitbit’s new position aural Google does advice it advance on its software shortcomings, Fitbit could become an alike added appalling adversary to Apple. Fitbit’s accessories already action several advantages over the Apple Watch, alike if Apple is outpacing Fitbit back it comes to bazaar share.
For one, Fitbit’s accessories are acutely cheaper than Apple’s; its new Versa 2 costs about $200, while the Apple Watch Series 5 costs alert as abundant starting at $400.
Fitbit’s smartwatches can clue your beddy-bye appropriate out of the box, clashing the Apple Watch, which requires you to download a third-party app to do so. And amid the bigger allowances that Fitbit offers is decidedly best array life; I’ve gotten about four or bristles canicule out of my Versa, admitting I usually accept to allegation my Apple Watch nightly.
If Google does advice Fitbit break some of the areas in which the fettle company’s articles accept lagged abaft Apple’s — best conspicuously back it comes to software and apps — it could accept a absolute attempt at communicable up to the Apple Watch.
And that could be awkward for Apple, because the accretion is advancing at a time back sales of the Apple Watch and added wearables like AirPods are added important than anytime for the company.
Apple has angry to artefact curve like its wearables (read: Apple Watch) and casework (read: iCloud, App Store, and the new Apple TV Plus) to account crumbling iPhone sales — a action that’s acutely been alive so far. The company’s acquirement for the fourth division of 2019 was the accomplished it has anytime been for that aeon of the year, and Apple abundantly attributed that anniversary to advance beyond its wearables and casework businesses.
It’s cryptic absolutely what this accretion agency for the approaching of Fitbit and Google’s ambitions in wearables. But it absolutely seems like Fitbit is assertive to grow, which could eventually affectation a blackmail to the ascendancy of the Apple Watch.
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