Mar 31, 2020 - Technology

Fitbit adds GPS to its fitness band

Ina Fried, author of Login

Fitbit Charge 4. Photo: Fitbit

Fitbit is the latest tech company tasked with launching a consumer product amid the coronavirus outbreak, on Tuesday unveiling a new version of its Charge fitness tracker.

The big picture: While it has been working to add paid subscription services, Fitbit remains dependent on new hardware sales, something that could be trickier in a time when most of America is sheltering in place.

Details: The new product, the Charge 4, adds GPS and Spotify controls while keeping a sub-$150 price. The GPS function is only turned on for specific activities in order to allow the band to have multiday battery life.

Yes, but: Fitbit could be in a tough spot in trying to get people to buy a new fitness tracker at a time when stores are closed and people are largely staying at home.

  • That said, overall interest in fitness is increasing as people try to stay active at a challenging time (see Adobe sales data above). And even those sheltering in place are generally allowed to go out for exercise.

What they're saying: "We're still assessing the overall impact on our business, but we are pleased that we are able to deliver Charge 4 to the market as planned. ... We are constantly monitoring the evolving situation globally across all of our supply chains and will adjust our plans and operations as needed," a Fitbit representative told Axios.

Go deeper: Led by Apple, the wearables market has doubled since last

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Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 5,923,432— Total deaths: 364,836 — Total recoveries — 2,493,434Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 p.m. ET: 1,745,930 — Total deaths: 102,808 — Total recoveries: 406,446 — Total tested: 16,099,515Map.
  3. Public health: Hydroxychloroquine prescription fills exploded in March —How the U.S. might distribute a vaccine.
  4. 2020: North Carolina asks RNC if convention will honor Trump's wish for no masks or social distancing.
  5. Business: Fed chair Powell says coronavirus is "great increaser" of income inequality.
  6. 1 sports thing: NCAA outlines plan to get athletes back to campus.

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