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Fitbit stock falls 18 percent after smartwatch debut

By Andrew V. Pestano Follow @AVPLive9 Contact the Author   |   Jan. 6, 2016 at 12:15 PM

LAS VEGAS, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Shares of Fitbit dropped about 18 percent after the company showed off its first smartwatch at CES 2016, with investors seemingly unimpressed with the Apple Watch rival.

Although Fitbit is the bestselling fitness tracker brand, doubts persist that it will be able to break into the smartwatch market. The company revealed the full-color Fitbit Blaze on Tuesday.

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The Blaze, priced at $200, has a battery life of about five days and nights on a single charge, compared to Apple Watch's 18 hours. Fitbit stock surged after the company went public last year, and rose 5 percent after becoming a top-selling application in the App Store.

Gartner, a tech-research firm, estimates that about 91 million smartwatches, sportwatches and activity-tracking wristbands were shipped in 2015.

Daniel Ives, managing director of FBR Capital Markets Research, told BBC News that Fitbit's move into the smartwatch market is uncertain.

"It's an aggressive and risky move," Ives said. "Fitbit has been massively successful in its own niche of the market, and the jury's out on whether the Blaze smartwatch is the right move at the right time."

CES 2016 is focused mainly on wearable technology, as other big brands including Huawei, Withings and Misfit showcased products.

Misfit is gaining attention for its new Misfit Ray wearable, a sleet-looking fitness-tracker so innocuous it could be mistaken for a bracelet, The Verge reports. The price ranges from $99 to $120 -- depending on the model.

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