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Fitbit to cut 6% of its workforce following disappointing Q4

Fitbit plans to lay off around 110 workers in all, according to today's press release.

Published onJanuary 30, 2017

Fitbit had a pretty rough Q4 2016.

Based on preliminary financial info, which will be detailed in full during its earnings call later today, the company expects to report a total revenue for Q4 2016 in the range of $572 to $580 million, compared to the forecasted $725 to $750 million. For the full year of 2016, Fitbit expects annual revenue growth to be around 17%, which is way off from the forecasted growth of 25% to 26%.

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A user starts Google Maps on their Fitbit Charge 6.

Fitbit obviously needs to do something about its losses, and unfortunately that means it’s planning on shaking up its workforce. The company will cut approximately 6% of its global workforce, or around 110 employees.

James Park, Fitbit co-founder and CEO, comments on the news of the layoffs and the future of the company:

We believe the evolving wearables market continues to present growth opportunities for us that we will capitalize on by investing in our core product offerings, while expanding into the smartwatch category to diversify revenue and capture share of the over $10 billion global smartwatch market. We believe we are uniquely positioned to succeed in delivering what consumers are looking for in a smartwatch: stylish, well-designed devices that combine the right general purpose functionality with a focus on health and fitness. With the recent acquisition of assets from Pebble, Vector Watch and Coin, we are taking action to position the company for long-term success.

As stated in Park’s official comment, Fitbit has some pretty big plans for the future. The company is ramping up its efforts to break into the smartwatch market, thanks to its recent acquisitions of Pebble, Vector Watch and Coin. We can even expect the company to launch its very own app store in the future, which will likely be the central hub for fitness and health-focused smartwatch applications.

While these recent acquisitions might signal a better year in financials for the company, Fitbit won’t be without competition. Google and LG are collaborating on a pair of new smartwatches, which will launch alongside the big Android Wear 2.0 update in early February. The Apple Watch Series 2 has also garnered quite a bit of attention from fitness fans, and Samsung’s Gear S3 watches, which have recently gained support for iOS devices, are attractive alternatives to the other well-known smartwatches on the market.

2017 will be an interesting year for wearables.

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