Why Fitbit Built Activity Tracker for Kids


Apr. 30 2018, Updated 11:10 a.m. ET

Fitbit makes first foray into kids’ fitness tracker market

After kicking off global sales of its Versa smartwatch, Fitbit (FIT) is also gearing up to roll out its other new product, Fitbit Ace. Unveiled alongside Versa in March, Ace is expected to go on sale before the end of the current quarter.

Ace is an activity tracker built specifically for children. Designed for kids ages eight and older, the Ace marks Fitbit’s first foray into the kids market.

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Helping the whole family become active

Fitbit came up with Ace to help the whole family become active, partly because kids aren’t getting enough physical activity in the digital age. Too much screen time is robbing kids of time to be kids by running around and playing, which is good for their health.

But Fitbit was also motivated to create a tracker for kids after noticing that parents were passing down their old trackers to their children. With that, the company saw an opportunity to build a tracker that caters specifically to kids.

Last year, Fitbit was selected alongside Apple, Johnson & Johnson (JNJ), Samsung (SSNLF), and other companies to participate in an FDA program that could pave the way for faster approval of new digital health products.

Fitbit opening another competition front with Garmin

The launch of Ace would also help Fitbit compete better with Garmin (GRMN), its longtime rival in the fitness tracker market. In 2016, Garmin launched vivofit jr, a wearable activity tracker for kids.

Garmin is one of Fitbit’s fiercest rivals in the wearable device market. According to IDC (International Data Corporation), Apple was the top wearable vendor in 2017, commanding 15.3% of the global market. Fitbit, which ranked third below Apple and Xiaomi, commanded 13.3% of the global wearable market in 2017. Garmin ranked fourth with a 5.4% share, and Fossil Group (FOSL) ranked fifth.


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