Fitbit files for $100 million IPO, warns of Apple Watch competition

Posted:
in Apple Watch edited June 2015
San Francisco-based fitness tracking device maker Fitbit on Thursday announced it is preparing for an initial public offering that it hopes will raise at least $100 million.


Apple Store Fitbit product display from 2014.


Fitbit plans to trade on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "FIT." The company has sold nearly 21 million devices to date, with more than half of those last year alone, showing the recent explosion in fitness tracking devices.

As part of its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company was also required to disclose potential threats to its business. Among those specifically cited was the Apple Watch.

"Apple has recently introduced the Apple Watch smartwatch, with broad-based functionalities, including some health and fitness tracking capabilities," the filing reads. "We also compete with a wide range of stand-alone health and fitness-related mobile apps that can be purchased or downloaded through mobile app stores."

Fitbit's most direct competitor to the Apple Watch is the Surge, a so-called "super watch" that focuses on health and fitness functions. While it isn't as functional as a full-fledged smartwatch, the device does include integrated GPS for outdoor activity tracking.

As part of the SEC filing, Fitbit revealed that it earned net income of $131.8 million in 2014, which was up from a loss of $51.6 million in 2013.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 23
    lkrupplkrupp Posts: 9,991member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post



    As part of its filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, the company was also required to disclose potential threats to its business. Among those specifically cited was the Apple Watch.

     

    Well duh.

  • Reply 2 of 23
    blazarblazar Posts: 270member
    Fitbit ipo? Now ive seen it all.... This just looks like a public money grab. What could they possibly do with other people's money that they aren't doing already? They think they can make more by going public than the profit they make staying private? What new product do they need investors for? Compete with apple? Not a chance...
  • Reply 3 of 23
    FitBit will die soon. They should take the money and run. Maybe that's what they're trying to do here.
  • Reply 4 of 23
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,497moderator

    Future headlines:

     

    Fitbit IPO oversubscribed, brings in $170 million

     

    Apple Watch 2 to include GPS, blood pressure sensor, other missing features

     

    Fitbit reports oversized losses in quarter leading up to introduction of Apple Watch 2

     

    Apple Watch 2 sales top 7 million in first week, below 9 million expectations, stock tanks

     

    FitBit to pivot into energy drink business, company to be renamed FitBull, stock soars

  • Reply 5 of 23
    reallyreally Posts: 1member
    A stark realisation that they need to grab the cash and run. Whilst they are at it why not rebrand to S*itBit and done.
  • Reply 6 of 23
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,073member

    When you compare the 1st gen iPhone without even a basic camera to the later iPhones, it is clear that Apple will keep adding ever more sophisticated health and tracking monitors which have a ready made hardware and software base to grow. As the Apple Watch evolves, it will be survival of the fitbittest. It's difficult to see how even master cloner Samsung are going to be able to compete on an equal footing with Apple on this product. 

     

    Samsung has made a worse mistake on the smartwatch arena by rushing 6 iterations to market as quick as they could when the Apple Watch rumours began and they are now spent.

  • Reply 7 of 23
    analogjackanalogjack Posts: 1,073member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ross.alex.k View Post



    FitBit will die soon. They should take the money and run. Maybe that's what they're trying to do here.

     

    The GT Advanced business model.

  • Reply 8 of 23
    guyrguyr Posts: 50member
    When Apple make a $100 watch that's battery lasts a week, that's when Fitbit will worry. Until then, the Surge is the only thing to 'compete' with the cheapest of Apple watches.
  • Reply 9 of 23
    nolamacguynolamacguy Posts: 4,758member
    guyr wrote: »
    When Apple make a $100 watch that's battery lasts a week, that's when Fitbit will worry. Until then, the Surge is the only thing to 'compete' with the cheapest of Apple watches.

    We'll see about that.

    AW is a generalist device, FB is a specialist device. For most people most of the time, general devices are good enough. FB better hope there are a lot of people interested in their niche...
  • Reply 10 of 23
    solipsismzsolipsismz Posts: 22member
    nolamacguy wrote: »
    We'll see about that.

    AW is a generalist device, FB is a specialist device. For most people most of the time, general devices are good enough. FB better hope there are a lot of people interested in their niche...

    Just as there was tremendous interest in marketing cheap, low cost smartphones to the masses, there will be as well a tremendous interest in marketing cheap, low cost fitness devices to the masses.

    Fitbit has a good chance at becoming the fitness tracker Samsung, if by all measures it isn't already in terms of mere units sold.
  • Reply 11 of 23
    konqerrorkonqerror Posts: 685member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by GuyR View Post



    When Apple make a $100 watch that's battery lasts a week, that's when Fitbit will worry.

     

    So until the iPhone is free and has a battery that lasts a week, Palm and Nokia are completely safe.

  • Reply 12 of 23
    radarthekatradarthekat Posts: 3,497moderator
    Do all of Fitbit's wristbands connect wirelessly to a smartphone? My thinking is, any that don't, that need to be sync'd with a cable... those are the first casualties. Next up are any that need a cable plugged in for charging. Setting the Apple Watch down on its hockey puck magnetic charger, and then lifting it back off (no, you don't have to handle the puck at all to do this) is dead simple. Next to die will be those that don't have some basic notifications capabilities. See where this is going? The Apple Watch, by its growing ubiquity on your friends' and co-workers' and peers' wrists, will continuously and rapidly raise the bar regarding minimal required additional functionality of anything you dedicate wrist real estate to. The watch makers of the world are finding that out now and soon too will other dedicated wearable makers, like Fitbit.
  • Reply 13 of 23
    krawallkrawall Posts: 159member
    Well I'm using a Fitbit for two years. Recently, my Flex died and I bought a Charge.

    As others have stated, battery life is king. The charge lasts 10 days, and while no comparison to an Apple Watch in terms of anything beyond activity tracking, because it lasts ten days I can get proper sleep tracking. So I'm using both now and I'm quite happy with it. I know that when I take my apple watch off, I still have sleep tracking on the Fitbit.

    By the way, yesterday is the first time I had to re-charge my Fitbit since owing it (monday from week previous)

    Of course, what the future iterations of apple watches will and can do do to Fitbit, is on another page.
  • Reply 14 of 23
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,454member
    krawall wrote: »
    Well I'm using a Fitbit for two years. Recently, my Flex died and I bought a Charge.

    As others have stated, battery life is king. The charge lasts 10 days, and while no comparison to an Apple Watch in terms of anything beyond activity tracking, because it lasts ten days I can get proper sleep tracking. So I'm using both now and I'm quite happy with it. I know that when I take my apple watch off, I still have sleep tracking on the Fitbit.

    By the way, yesterday is the first time I had to re-charge my Fitbit since owing it (monday from week previous)

    Of course, what the future iterations of apple watches will and can do do to Fitbit, is on another page.

    While this is strictly anecdotal, my company offers a Fitbit subsidy, which dozens of employees took advantage of. Even with the ?Watch looming on the horizon, many were not at all interested in the watch. Several in my immediate office owned iPhones, iPads, and Macs, but were primarily interested in a fitness tracker, especially for the price. Since the watch came out, not a single one has regretted their purchase. There's an avid Fitbit community at work that regularly compare and discuss results.

    if other companies have similar plans and groups then FitBit is likely doing just fine, with little threat from the ?Watch, at least for the immediate future.
  • Reply 15 of 23
    krawallkrawall Posts: 159member



    Yes, the community is also quite strong for Fitbit. They did a good job on setting up a really comprehensive environment for fitness tracking. I do use their food tracker as well as track body measures. There's a lot of stickiness if you already have a Fitbit to not turn away easily.

  • Reply 16 of 23
    joogabahjoogabah Posts: 139member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by AnalogJack View Post

     

    When you compare the 1st gen iPhone without even a basic camera to the later iPhones, it is clear that Apple will keep adding ever more sophisticated health and tracking monitors which have a ready made hardware and software base to grow. As the Apple Watch evolves, it will be survival of the fitbittest. It's difficult to see how even master cloner Samsung are going to be able to compete on an equal footing with Apple on this product. 

     

    Samsung has made a worse mistake on the smartwatch arena by rushing 6 iterations to market as quick as they could when the Apple Watch rumours began and they are now spent.




    The first gen iPhone had a 2 megapixel camera.

  • Reply 17 of 23
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Krawall View Post

     



    Yes, the community is also quite strong for Fitbit. They did a good job on setting up a really comprehensive environment for fitness tracking. I do use their food tracker as well as track body measures. There's a lot of stickiness if you already have a Fitbit to not turn away easily.




    Is it compatible with iOS Health app?

  • Reply 18 of 23
    pscooter63pscooter63 Posts: 1,062member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SolipsismZ View Post

     

     

    Um, you're running out of letters... :p

  • Reply 19 of 23
    waldobushmanwaldobushman Posts: 774member
    blazar wrote: »
    Fitbit ipo? Now ive seen it all.... This just looks like a public money grab. What could they possibly do with other people's money that they aren't doing already? They think they can make more by going public than the profit they make staying private? What new product do they need investors for? Compete with apple? Not a chance...

    Fitbit, to stay relevant, needs an infusion of cash. Health, fitness and medical sensors are where the business is going. The apple watch is not the last word in this area, and is likely to be almost irrelevant. HealthKit, Researchkit, other Kits will help drive the market for sensors. Apple has the cash to push into the medical and regulatory quagmire for such devices. Fitbit does not. An IPO is absolutely necessary, but the key is not money, but if they are capable of funding the kind of expansion they need to remain viable.
  • Reply 20 of 23
    shenshen Posts: 434member
    Good luck guys, I know that my fitbit has been okay, though even at only $89 I am glad it was a prize and not a purchase, because it isn't worth that much. I happily dropped $400 for an Apple Watch though, and as soon as I get the email it is shipping I will be regifting the fitbit. Interesting, but not worth owning...
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