While there are those out there who believe the fitness tracker is doomed to be rolled over by the smartwatch, which can do most everything a fitness tracker can do and then some, the time of the fitness tracker's demise is clearly not yet. Indeed, reports suggest that Jawbone is primed to bring out a pair of new fitness trackers to take on the growing field.
One of the new devices is reportedly known as the Jawbone MOVE. The MOVE is Jawbone's low-cost entrant into the field, and is set to sell for $50, making it a great starting point for those who are just getting into the fitness tracker concept now. It's also said to be Jawbone's response to a market in which prices are on the decline for such devices, and so, Jawbone is looking to establish a presence now to beat as much of the rush as it can. Devices like the Misfit Shine, now available in a $50 variant, and the Xiaomi Mi Band for just $13 show that there's some clear pressure to the downside in terms of pricing.
Meanwhile, the second device, said to be known as the UP3, will retail at $180 and come with an array of features as well as an impressive new design. The UP3, so named because it would be the third in Jawbone's UP line—including the $80 UP and the $130 UP24—is said to pack in some new features of its own, including, as noted previously, a new design. But also included in this one, at last report, is a heartbeat sensor, a point that many have been clamoring for and a point that some of Jawbone's competitors are already bringing into the fold.
For instance, FitBit recently announced a pair of devices to pack in heartbeat sensors, one a fitness tracker and the other a fitness watch. But the heartbeat sensor is said to be particularly important thanks to its use in measuring the quality of sleep, or calories burned as part of a workout.
It's an important issue to keep in mind; indeed, there were those who thought the fitness tracker was doomed thanks to the growth of the smartwatch trade. But if the fitness trackers respond to this doom by pushing prices down, that doom may not be so pronounced. Indeed, there might have been those who bought a smartwatch mainly wanting a fitness tracker, because the smartwatch can do so much more that its versatility fairly well commends it. But if the fitness trackers become inexpensive, the added utility posed by the smartwatch isn't so good a value. It was one thing when fitness trackers were priced about the same as smartwatches; it's a whole different matter when fitness trackers are suddenly much less expensive.
The reports suggest, meanwhile, that the new Jawbone devices will make an appearance later this week. But if the new devices do emerge as reports suggest, the market for wearable devices will suddenly look quite a bit different. That's going to likely fuel some changes in the wider front as well, and the demise of the fitness tracker as an independent platform may well prove exaggerated.
Edited by Maurice Nagle
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