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Fitbit's CEO Thinks that Apple Watch just does Too Much


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James Park is on a mission to make you fitter, faster, stronger and more productive. His company Fitbit has put its activity trackers on millions of wrists in the nine years since it was founded, and won endorsements from US presidents, real and fictional: Both Barack Obama and Kevin Spacey, of US political drama House of Cards, are devotees.


In January we posted a report titled "Fitbit closes in on the Apple Watch with their new Blaze Device." It's the Fitbit smartwatch designed to fend off the Apple Watch. The latest article says that Fitbit's Blaze is selling well with 1 million sold in its first month on Amazon. But Wall Street shaved 15% off the stock the day they announced the Apple Watch-like design. And just this morning, Barron's reported that market analysts John Donovan and Steve Mullane with boutique research house BlueFin Research Partners demanded to know whether the "million units" were actual sales or simply channel fill.


The new Telegraph report quotes Fitbit CEO James Park as saying that Apple Watch is "a great product and Apple's a great company, but it's a product that probably does too much. Really, our research has shown that people who search for an interest in the Apple Watch do not overlap with people who search for and are interested in Fitbit. I think the biggest problem with the category today is they do so many things and it hasn't been really clearly communicated to people why they should need one of these devices."


Park is naturally tight-lipped about what's being developed in Fitbit's research labs, but says there are "things in multiple different phases." Yet he generally pointed to wearables interacting with the broader world in the future with richer notifications and integration with a user's car, home, buildings, payments and user authentication." 


Apple is likewise secretive of what could be next for Apple Watch. Though last week new Apple patent applications revealed that Apple is working on a band consisting of 'Smart Links' that will be able to extend features for the watch to include such extras as a secondary backup battery, a camera, various health sensors and more. By being able to spread the technology throughout the band, Apple will likely be able to convert the Apple Watch to eventually act as an independent smartphone.


The other thing revealed last week is that the Apple Watch could one day understand advanced sign language and in-air Apple Watch controlling gestures.


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