Fitbit, once a byword in activity-tracking and fitness band world, is struggling to meet financial expectations and might very well lay off up to 10 percent of its workforce.
A report in The Information suggest that the company’s fourth quarter earnings were below estimates and between 80-160 people will be laid off from various departments. The layoffs are expected to save the company around $200 million.
VentureBeat suggests that the layoffs are in part an effort to restructure the company.
Fitbit recently acquired smartwatch maker Pebble and appeared to be looking to be moving beyond the fitness band market. As suggested in the report, this market has been “waning” in the past.
The Information has also learned that Fitbit is interested in opening up an app store and giving developers APIs for development on the Fitbit platform.
With a number of cheap wearables and fitness bands entering the market, particularly from Chinese manufacturers like Xiaomi, it’s hard to see a dedicated, high-end fitness wearable maker succeeding. This situation is even worse when you consider that many smartwatches these days are perfectly capable of doing the job of most fitness trackers, and this is also a stagnant market.
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