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Fitbit unveils Versa 2 with better sleep tracking, plans future Apple Watch support for upcoming subscription fitness service

Fitbit subscription Versa 2 smartwatch

Fitbit has made its upcoming Versa 2 smartwatch available for pre-order and detailed its latest plan to offer a more impactful experience and compete with Apple Watch with its Fitbit Premium subscription plan. The Versa 2 includes built-in Alexa support, 5-day battery life, a new processor, and more. Meanwhile, Fitbit Premium is set to offer personalized health recommendations for diet, exercise, and sleep.



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Fitbit taking on Apple Watch with $160 Versa Lite Edition: 4-day battery, sleep tracking, colorful

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Apple doesn’t share data about how many watches it sells, but the industry consensus is that the Apple Watch is the clear market leader with half the smart watch market in 2018. Fitbit’s latest smart watch entry may give the Apple Watch a run for its money, however, with a mix of colors that pop and a more affordable price.



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Fitbit’s $300 ‘Ionic’ Apple Watch competitor launching October 1, SDK preview out tomorrow

Last month Fitbit unveiled its $300 Ionic smart watch based on its acquisition of Pebble, and today the company has announced the ship date for its Apple Watch competitor. Fitbit Ionic will hit stores on October 1 in plenty of time for the holidays (and just a few days before Apple Watch Nike+ Series 3). Fitbit has already been taking pre-orders for its new smart watch on its website and promises orders will ship within one week.



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Fitbit’s Apple Watch competitor seen in renders; new sensors could offer better vitals tracking

Following its acquisition of Pebble last December, Fitbit has been rumored to be working on its own smartwatch for a release at some point this year. We saw a couple renders of Fitbit’s latest wearable back in May, but a new batch of images from Wareable shines new light on what to expect from the upcoming Apple Watch competitor.



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Review: Fitbit Alta is a minimalist $130 alternative to the Apple Watch, with multi-day battery life

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As regular readers will know, I’ve become a complete convert to the Apple Watch. But the Watch isn’t for everyone: it’s relatively expensive, fairly chunky and for most users has one-day battery-life.

I’ve been trying the Fitbit Alta for the past week, and while I’ll personally be sticking to my Apple Watch, I do think it could be a decent option for those with more limited needs and/or budgets …



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Fitbit debuts swim-proof Flex 2 & cardio-focused Charge 2 ahead of GPS-equipped Apple Watch 2

Fitbit

The Apple Watch 2 could be announced as soon as next week at Apple’s expected iPhone 7 event, and today Fitbit is getting a head start by unpacking its latest updates to its fitness tracking lineup. The popular Flex 2 is being updated with swim-proof capabilities while the Charge 2 is getting cardio-focused enhancements. Fitbit also seems to be trying to match Apple Watch almost feature-for-feature with its new lineup…



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Fitbit planning to be an Apple Pay competitor next year as it buys NFC payment tech

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The Fitbit Blaze ‘fitness watch’

With the Apple Watch the most convenient way to use Apple Pay, Fitbit appears set to bring contactless payment tech to its fitness bands from next year.

After acquiring mobile payment company Coin earlier this month, Fitbit hinted to TNW that it would add NFC payment capabilities to one or more of its devices next year …



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Smartwatch report forecasts that Apple Watch will represent 40% of $350+ watch category by 2020

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Business Insider report on the smartwatch market is forecasting that the Apple Watch will by 2020 account for around 40% of sales in the luxury watch market, which it defines as watches costing at least $350.

As evidence for this, it cites a consumer survey showing growing interest in the Apple Watch among owners of traditional watches, 27% of those who already wear a watch saying that the added functionality of Apple’s wearable appeals to them. The report also notes a trend away from simpler fitness bands toward full smartwatches …



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Fitbit announces fashion-oriented leather/metal fitness band, Alta

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Fitbit didn’t exactly impress the market when it tried to launch a full-blown smartwatch last month, its stock price falling 11% in response to the idea of the company seemingly attempting to compete with the Apple Watch. It may have better luck with its latest offering, a fashion-oriented fitness band called Alta offering five days of battery-life. The emphasis here is on style, the $130 unit available with both leather bands ($60) and stainless steel bracelet ($100).

The Fitbit Alta will be available for pre-order from tomorrow at Amazon, Best Buy, Target, Walmart and other retail sites, with shipping in March or April, depending on configuration.

Via Engadget

Biometric company’s lawsuit accuses Apple of underhand tactics to gain access to heart-rate tech for Apple Watch

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Biometric specialist Valencell – whose technology is licensed by iRiver, LG, Sony and others – has filed a lawsuit accusing Apple of using underhand tactics to gain access to its patented technology for use in the Apple Watch.

The company claims that Apple violated three of its patents for improving the accuracy and reliability of heart-rate data when using the photoplethysmography (PPG) approach used in the Apple Watch. But the lawsuit alleges more than just patent infringement, reports AI: it also claims that Apple used deceptive techniques to get access to the technology …



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9to5Toys Last Call: 13″ MacBook Air from $750, SanDisk Wi-Fi 32GB Flash Drive $25, iOS/Mac app deals

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Keep up with the best gear and deals on the web by signing up for the 9to5Toys Newsletter. Also, be sure to check us out on: TwitterRSS FeedFacebookGoogle+ and Safari push notifications.

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Fitbit says sales unaffected by Apple Watch as revenues rise 168% year-on-year

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Fitbit CEO James Park says that the company’s sales have been unaffected by the Apple Watch, as the company announced Q3 revenue up 168% year-on-year, reports the Guardian.

On a conference call with investors, Park said that the rollout of other smart watches, which often come with a step-tracker similar to Fitbit’s main function, did not have impact on the company’s growth. When asked about Apple’s new watch specifically, he said it had “no material impact”. He added that Apple and Fitbit cater to “two very different segments in the market” in terms of price point and use and that “there’s room for more than one dominant player.”

While there is no current overlap in pricing – Fitbit devices start from just $60 and top out at $250 – the statement may look a little optimistic in years to come. Apple is likely to add functionality to future Watches while maintaining its premium pricing, but it’s not impossible it could follow its iPhone strategy of keeping previous-generation devices on sale at a reduced price when new ones launch.

That could see the two companies competing at least at the $250 level – and in the meantime, there are already discounted Apple Watches out there, from Apple and others.

Via The Verge