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Fitbit to launch in India next month; preorders live on Amazon


Fitness tracking company Fitbit is launching in India in the first week of July, reports BGR India. To start off, the device maker has entered into an exclusive tie up with Amazon to sell its devices, but will eventually look at expanding into offline retail as well. Fitbit also set up an office in Delhi to handle its India operations.

Fitbit had earlier announced its intentions to enter India, Indonesia, Taiwan and Philippines markets by 2015, in November last year. The company had said then that it was in the process of identifying distribution partners in these countries. Note that Fitbit has been increasingly focusing on Asian market; it had roped in Yolanda Chan as its first vice president & GM for APAC early last year and had said it would double its employee headcount in Asia to sixty.

Fitbit will launch its entire product line in India. This will include the Zip for Rs 3,990, Flex for Rs 6,990, Charge HR for Rs 12,990, Surge for Rs 19,990 and its connected weighing scale Aria for Rs 9,990. The health trackers offer varying degrees of features depending on its price including, steps, calories and distance monitor, clock, sleep tracker, sleep detection, wake alarm, continuous heart rate monitor and GPS tracking. The company also offers mobile apps for iOS and Android, which users can use to access stats and set goals etc.

Interestingly, Fitbit offers an API for developers, which they can use to create apps for its trackers. The APIs can be used for free and are accessible once a developer registers as a Fitbit user. The company also features some of these apps on its website. As of now, Fitbit is listing its activity trackers on Amazon as in stock from the 3rd of July, however users can preorder the device for delivery by the 7th-8th of July.

Other than India, the San Francisco-based company already has a presence in China, Hong Kong, Japan, South Korea, & Singapore in the Asia Pacific region.

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Competition: It’ll be interesting to see if Fitbit can manage to get a significant user base in India as over the past year a number of players have entered the fitness tracking wearables & devices space in the country. Note that, Fitbit does not offer real live coaches unlike its competitors GOQii, HealthifyMe or ObiNo.

– Vishal Gondal’s GOQii, which combines fitness tracking with human coaches, was launched in a limited pilot basis in February last year, and later officially launched in August. It also raised an undisclosed amount in angel funding in August and had launched an US beta earlier this year. In March, the company launched a ‘coach’ marketplace model, wherein users could hire coaches irrespective of their location.

– In April Xiaomi launched its Mi Band, a fitness tracker with a 30-day battery life priced at $15. The device connects to Android iOS smartphones via Bluetooth and has a number of sensors that monitor a user’s fitness and sleep.

– Bangalore-based 2mpower Health Management Services had launched a new personal health & activity tracker called GetActive tapp, in September last year. Under the GetActive brand, the company also sells a clip-on fitness tracker with a sleep monitor called GetActive Slim & a fitness tracker with a large b/w lcd screen and a pager like form factor called GetActive eZ.

– Earlier this month, online fitness services provider HealthifyMe raised an undisclosed amount in its second round of funding after it had raised an undisclosed sum in its first round of funding from Micromax just last month. The platform itself does not provide a fitness tracker, and instead suggests the user to get a wearable such as the Rist or YUfit band.

– Mumbai-based Manna Healthcare Pvt Ltd owned weight-loss app ObiNo, which raised funding last October, provides users with weight loss coaching through real-life coaches and tools like the eDiet plan generator and Indian meal recommendation engine. The platform works on a freemium basis, and offers paid packages that cost Rs 299 to Rs 1500 per month.

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– Google had also launched its health and fitness platform Google Fit in June this year. Google Fit provided app developers a single set of APIs that can be used to manage fitness data from apps and sensors on cross-platform devices and on wearables. Apple had also launched a similar Healthkit platform, in the same month.

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