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Fitness Wearable Maker Fitbit To Cut Six-Percent of Its Staff Following a Disappointing Q4 (techcrunch.com) 91

As anticipated, wearable leader Fitbit kicked off the week by announcing a six-percent reduction in global work force, following disappointing fourth quarter financials. From a report: A preliminary statement issued this morning details the loss of 110 jobs, as part of a "reorganization of its business" designed to "creat[e] a more focused and efficient operating model." The news follows what has been a disappointing several months for the wearable space at large, impacting even Fitbit, the dominant player in the space. As rivals like Jawbone grapple with the future and the smartwatch space looks dismal, however, the Fitbit has been making acquisitions, including the once promising smartwatch pioneer Pebble, which met with its own struggles as the year drew to a close. The financials detail 6.5 million devices sold for the fourth quarter of last year, with quarterly revenue and annual revenue growth both falling below the company's guidance range.
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Fitness Wearable Maker Fitbit To Cut Six-Percent of Its Staff Following a Disappointing Q4

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    6% = 110, how many employees do they need?

  • Nobody except n00bZ use either

    Studies have even shown that devices like Fit bit discourage you from exercise, by setting limits on what you do.

    Real exercise is a matter of just adding a little more each day, and realizing pain is there to tell you to cut back or stop.

    • No pain go gain?
  • It seems the business strategy of buying up and shutting down their competition while failing to produce a decent product themselves has not been successful.

  • by JoeyRox ( 2711699 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @01:51PM (#53767273)
    To go from your cubicle at Fitbit to the front door security escorts you to.
  • by ErichTheRed ( 39327 ) on Monday January 30, 2017 @01:54PM (#53767293)

    The wearable device bubble is ending, mainly because manufacturers are finding that they're not Apple. Even Apple is having trouble convincing the true believers to buy their first Apple Watches, let alone upgrade them. Fitbit and friends probably saw the following:
    - A lot of the purchases are gifts or corporate giveaways from a company's health insurance plan. They get used for a while, then thrown in a drawer.
    - Even among the hardcore users, there's very little reason to upgrade unless new must-have features, so you're not going to get the once-every-18-months cash infusions that Apple had recently been getting for iPhones.
    - It's expensive to build and maintain the apps that attach the devices to the users' phones, and the data can't really be monetized the same way Google search history can.

    Microsoft even dumped the Microsoft Band, probably realizing very similar things Fitbit did. The question is, are they hoping for an acquisition from a watch maker or something, and just trying to hold out long enough to get the founders their exit money? Also, why so many employees to design a hardware specification once, then build a simple phone app? Did they just get pumped full of startup money and go on a hiring spree?

    Wearables are neat - I have one of the Garmin ones and it works well. But I'm not buying a new one every year.

    • by adosch ( 1397357 )

      Wearables are neat - I have one of the Garmin ones and it works well. But I'm not buying a new one every year.

      You couldn't have said it better. I was an early Kickstarter adopter of the Pebble, bought a Pebble Steel a few years back and now look where I am? For a while, it got to be too many re-invention releases of watch types to do so many confounded things to compete in these little niche areas where some wearable companies didn't even start in OR belong, period. It was this ultimate 6-month production race to maybe this-or-that differently, or maybe do a calender-calorie-tracker angle or maybe a sms-notifica

    • The wearable device bubble is ending, mainly because manufacturers are finding that they're not Apple.

      This has nothing to do with Apple and everything to do with target market / market saturation. Fitbit, Garmin, Tomtom, and a myriad of other companies are competing in this market each with more amazing products than the last ultimately targetting nothing more than a handful of elite fitness nuts or people who like the game of sport. The end result is that fitbit are EXACTLY like Apple. They've managed to get their device and devices like it into the hands of everyone who wants one and just like iPad sales

    • I only disagree with you're classifying wearables as a "bubble". Google Glass was DOA. After the first round of Apple fanboys ditched the Iwatch, sales crashed. I don't believe it was ever popular enough in mainstream to classify as a bubble.
  • Two things, if you "need" such a device to get you motivated, then you are approaching the whole exercise thing incorrectly, and I would give it 2-3 weeks before said device starts gathering dust in a drawer somewhere. Secondly if you are serious about exercising, then why not keep a physical exercise journal? The gym that I belong to gives them out for free--or even easier, buy a spiral notebook for a couple of bucks?
    • by adosch ( 1397357 )

      So totally true. If anything, companies like Fitbit tried to rally around lazy-ass people who needed a gadget and really poor apps to hold them accountable. Isn't that how gimmicky diets that pop up around the turn of every calendar new year work, as well? Sell you this unrealistic grand idea/plan when all you need is some humble pie, self worth, bit of dedication and don't cave on the day old donuts Carol from 'Accounting' brought in to share? Genetics aside, shit people, if staying in shape, having a

  • I used to use the freebie Google Fit. Then I bought this Fitbit. And I was struggling to meet my daily goal of 10K steps. Then about eight weeks in, I found that I had not turned off the Google Fit. It had been faithfully giving me some 7K or 8K steps every day, which I did not even know about! Man, what an epiphany!! I immediately bought a jawbone device and a misfit. Now I am getting about 8K steps from each and doing 32 K steps like gangbusters without breaking a sweat.
  • That's-terrible. If-I was-one of-them I-might go-out and-drink ten-beers.

  • More people are realizing that a smartwatch is a better investment; it can do a lot more than just fitness tracking. Plus, the fitbit bands break so easily...
    • by ruir ( 2709173 )
      And is way overpriced. 140 euros vs 10-20 for a MiBand, or 50 if you are being robbed blind by some Spanish scumbag.
  • There is no wearable market - it's all hype. Just look at the landscape, Google Glass - dead. Iwatch sales crashed July '16. now the market leader FitBit fumbles. Battery life on wearables suck, you can't read them if you're over 40 (aka - people with money) , and really... what does it provide? You get show off how hip you are, but then the newness wears off and you realize so too does the usefulness. Does the trend line resemble "must have" 3D tvs?
  • Honestly, I like the idea of a heart-rate monitor, but when I'm looking for a wearable, the first thing I want is
    a) A watch. I like the idea of a good looking watch (stainless steel etc etc), and something that I can just quickly glance at my wrist and check time, and it doesn't need to be charged every day. I had a Pebble - good battery life but a bit plasticy looking - and was *REALLY* looking forward to their Time 2.0 for this.

    b) Second is of course smartwatch features. Stuff like getting messages, and

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