Fitbit's new smartwatch is rumored to be launching later this year, likely in time for the holiday shopping season. There's been plenty of leaks already about the new tracker, and now according to Fitbit's chief executive, James Park, the device won't feature cellular connectivity. So while it will have plenty of other features, it will still need to be connected to your smartphone. Park spoke with the Financial Times this week on the new product.
Park noted that this is a feature "struggling for a use case", and therefore the company decided to nix it. Park continued by stating that adding this functionality would include too many trade offs, which includes battery life. Adding cellular connectivity - likely 4G LTE - would not only cause battery life to suffer, but it would also make the smartwatch more expensive to make, and customers would need to add it to their wireless plan. Which also means that Fitbit would need to get carriers to sell this smartwatch and service for it - although that shouldn't be too hard since Fitbit's trackers are already sold by all four US carriers. Park did also note that this smartwatch will be waterproof and have GPS support, so it will be able to track your runs as you'd expect. Of course, these are features that you'd expect out of a new Fitbit product.
Now in this interview with the Financial Times, Park did also comment on the rumors that the smartwatch was delayed. Park noted that the device is on "track". He also noted that this is going to be the company's best product yet, he did preface that by saying "in my opinion". Park did not comment on pricing yet, likely due to the fact that there may not be a set price for this product just yet, but rumor has it that it'll cost under $300. It's also going to be an easier device for developers to write apps for, so it should be a lot more useful than the Fitbit Blaze or the Surge, which are the company's current watches. Although this upcoming watch is said to be an entirely different product from Fitbit, so it's unclear whether it will replace the Blaze or the Surge or be available alongside it.