Fitbit doomed?

Fitbit Ionic ReviewIt looks like Fitbit’s Ionic (review here) is failing to live up to market expectations.


There are various rumours and analyst comments on stock/inventory not being sold in the run up to Christmas. In part, this is what you can see reflected in the recent share price fall of just over 50cents for the last few weeks.

Continued inventory build for the Ionic leaves us more cautious on Q1

Source: Morgan Stanley

Although an analyst rating Fitbit as a rare ‘SELL’ also plays a part. (Source: Stifel Nicolaus)

It is UNLIKELY that the Ionic is a one-play hope for financial redemption for Fitbit ie they WILL have further models planned. However if the Ionic is not selling then, I’m afraid, that would represent a nail in the coffin for the tech company. Sure you can get nails out with a decent claw hammer but it’s not going to be easy in a highly competitive market.

I actually quite like the basic premise of the Ionic but it’s up against very stiff competition from the Apple Watch and Garmin Vivoactive 3. (Although the latter is a disappointment for me as well).

The Ionic needs time to get a fully stocked app store and fully stocked onboard features. It hasn’t got time, at least it hasn’t got MUCH time. It’s appearance is somewhat quirky with a rectangular screen…but I quite liked that…many others don’t like that. Unfortunately for Fitbit, it’s the others that are going to be buying it en-masse rather than me.

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6 thoughts on “Fitbit doomed?

  1. The Surge 2 (now with color and app store!) Is probably the best device to date from the company (in terms of features, but beyond this? What does it offer that a Apple Watch or Samsung Watch, Or even the Polar M600 already offers? Do they offer the same? Do they offer more? What does the Ionic offer that current owners of these other watches to spend money on this watch?

    Over-saturation, there is just too much here in the section of the market already and the bigger names offer far more with their devices (in terms of apps but also in physical connections with external devices; sport or just ecosystem devices). Also never discredit the icon.

    I have asked people in the past that drink Starbucks coffee for example why they do. Would you be surprised to hear a good 35% say they hate the taste of the coffee but by it because of the branding alone? People buy the apple watch because not only of the name, but because of the look…which is synonymous with apple sleek design. Not everyone, but that takes up a portion of the sector of owners. Can fitbit claim and such iconic claims? I’ve yet to hear a single people shout they are a “Charge HR buyer for life.”

    With that being said…I bought an ionic for my wife this holiday season. it’s a side-grade-ish to her Blaze, which she was meh with. The fit of the watch wasn’t all that nice and the message syncing to her phone was super delayed (a thing I have actually applaud with Garmin. There is near to no delay, that is when the BT connection doesn’t just go nuts). For her needs; the ionic is the absolute perfect watch. Should Fitbit fall (and noone absorb them) we most likely would end up with an android watch.

    1. starbucks: nice white mugs and the coffee is NOT the best BUT it is nearly always the same. and, in the UK, that sameness beats the variability of the other main brands offerings on the whole
      i can’t make any analagous comments on fitbit.
      the Ionic is probably a nice upgrade for many. the fitbit ecosystem is good (as i think you have also commented). it offers enough promise for an upgrade (with trust) now or maybe for some existing customers ‘to wait a bit’.
      problem 1: but NOT everyone will upgrade,

      problem 2: AND, as you say, there are not so many pull factors to make people switch and move to the ionic comapred to VA3 (for sports) and AW3 (for everything)
      surge: i think it’s past its sell-by date.

  2. It’s not worth the money for the upgrade from the charge 2 that I already own. They have got the pricing structure wrong. If they want existing customers to upgrade then they need a price incentive. Too many better alternatives on the market at this price and they look better as an everyday watch.

      1. I loved my charge 2 but the sporty look and the lack of functions like nfc payments, full notifications, replying to notifications torches and other small but relevant apps got me wandering for alternatives about a month ago. Was really looking forward to ionic as I loved fitbit products so far. After some heavy research I’ve realised it was never gonna meet my requirements and had to look elsewhere…

        Settled on Huawei watch Classic 2. Looks very good in titanium matching all of my suits and can detect what exercise I’m doing in the gym including the reps. Full functionality there, slow at times but very capable. It has its downsides but already achieving so much more than charge 2. My main complaint would be a battery life, doesn’t always stretch above 24h…

        Long story short, I had to give up on fitbit as it fails to compete so far. Shame as I loved it so much… Still sleep with my charge 2 as it tracks sleep really well… Hopefully they can pick themselves up soon.

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