Fitbit takes on smart watch market with Ionic launch

Fitbit is taking on the likes of the Apple Watch in its bid to dominate the wearables market. With a price tag of $299.95, the Fitbit Ionic comes in at the higher end of the market, priced above the Apple Watch’s starting price of $269.

Launched yesterday, the Ionic smart watch comes with features including a fitness tracking and contactless payment. The Ionic will also feature GPS, heart rate tracking, water resistance up to 50 meters, Fitbit Pay, on-board music, multiple clock faces and a battery that will last more than four days, the company said in a statement. Other features also include a new sensor technology for estimating oxygen levels in the blood.

“Over the coming months you will be able to add eligible American Express cards, as well as Mastercard and Visa credit and debit cards from top issuing banks in over 10 markets across the globe,” Fitbit said.

Relatively quiet over the past couple of years Fitbit has struggled due to an overcrowded wearables market since it launched its original products. However analysts believe that the company can now return to its former glory with the Ionic leading the way.

“Fitbit can take some market share from Apple by appealing to those who are more focused on fitness, however, we do not expect this to be a significant share of Apple’s overall smartwatch sales,” Wedbush Securities analyst Alicia Reese said.

Ionic will be available for pre-sale from Fitbit’s website and at some online retailers. The company has also launched the Aria 2 smart scale and Flyer wireless headphones. Shares of Fitbit were up 5.9 per cent at $6.07 on the New York Stock Exchange, following the announcement.

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