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Fitbit reportedly delays its first real smartwatch launch from spring to fall 2017

A new report claims Fitbit has encountered issues making its first real smartwatch, which has caused its launch to be delayed from spring to fall 2017.

Published onApril 11, 2017

Fitbit is working to create its first “real” smartwatch, but it may be a while before you will be able to put it on your wrist. A new report claims the fitness wearable company has encountered development issues with the unnamed smartwatch, and that a planned launch for later this spring has been pushed back to the fall of 2017.

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An Apple Watch Series 9 displays the Modular watch face.

According to Yahoo Finance, via unnamed sources, Fitbit’s smartwatch team recently discovered that its GPS hardware didn’t work in a final prototype unit because its antennae was not put in the correct location. The team is also having problems making the smartwatch waterproof, and it suggests the company could launch it without this feature.

It’s worth noting that Fitbit has never really put a huge focus on waterproofing. Even the company’s latest flagship fitness tracker, the Charge 2, isn’t waterproof, though the Flex 2 does come with a waterproof rating up to 50 meters.

Fitbit's smartwatch will have an aluminum body, a color display, and a design that's similar to the Blaze

The final device is rumored to be priced at around $300. Yahoo Finance claims Fitbit’s smartwatch will have an aluminum body and a color display, along with a design that’s similar to its Blaze fitness tracker. Inside, the smartwatch will house a heart monitor in addition to a GPS. It is also supposed to store and play music from the Pandora streaming service, along with NFC hardware so it can make payments. The report also says Fitbit will launch a pair of Bluetooth headphones alongside the smartwatch.

Perhaps the most interesting rumor about the watch is its projected battery life. The report claims Fitbit is aiming to have it last up to four days between charges, which would make it work far longer on one charge than the standard smartwatch. Most of Fitbit’s trackers can around four or five days on a single charge already, so it’s not actually too farfetched to think that the company can achieve this goal.

Fitbit has been quite busy buying smartwatch companies in the last several months. It acquired Pebble in December, and bought the UK-based smartwatch maker Vector Watch in January. However, a few weeks after that announcement, Fitbit revealed plans to lay off 110 employees, or about 6 percent of its workforce, following lower than expected sales of its products in the fourth quarter of 2016. Assuming this latest report is accurate, it sounds like Fitbit’s smartwatch plans still have a long way to go before they will be realized.

What are your initial impressions of Fitbit’s rumored smartwatch, and do you think it will be able to compete with the flood of Android Wear 2.0 devices that are scheduled to be released this year? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!

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