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Fitbit Stock Soars As Apple Watch Series 3 Takes Health Focus

Benjamin Rains
Shares of Fitbit (FIT) climbed on Wednesday, just one day after Apple (AAPL) introduced its newest Apple Watch, the Series 3. Investors have seemingly jumped on Fitbit stock despite, or perhaps because, Apple's newest smartwatch and software are so fitness-focused.

Shares of Fitbit FIT climbed on Wednesday, just one day after Apple AAPL introduced its newest Apple Watch, the Series 3. Investors have seemingly jumped on Fitbit stock despite, or perhaps because, Apple’s newest smartwatch and software are so fitness-focused.

Fitbit slowly lost some of its market share as a plethora of other fitness wearables entered the picture over the last few years, and the company’s stock price fell accordingly. But that downward spiral all happened before the San Francisco-based company introduced its inaugural, full-scale smartwatch.

The Ionic

Fitbit announced its sleek new Ionic smartwatch at the end of August. The Ionic will feature Fitbit’s signature fitness tracking capabilities, including the ability to record exercises such as running, biking, and swimming, and much more.

The new watch has revamped GPS capabilities and an average battery life of more than four days. The smartwatch can provide personalized coaching and guidance for workouts, including weight lifting, which adapt based on the user’s feedback.

All new. All for you. Say hello to your ultimate health & fitness companions. See what’s #NewFromFitbit: https://t.co/5ut3le9AEm pic.twitter.com/OwnW9eydT7

— Fitbit (@fitbit) August 28, 2017

The Ionic will also feature improved heart rate monitoring to include resting heart rate that can help users understand their ideal heart rate zones. Users will also be able to track their sleep more precisely by viewing how long they spend in light, deep, and REM sleep. A relative SpO2 sensor is also built in that can enable the watch to diagnose sleep apnea.

But what might have Fitbit investors’ hearts pumping, even more, are all of the other features that make the Ionic a true, smartwatch.

Users can now listen to music through Pandora (P) or save and store over 300 songs to Ionic, and the watch pairs with Bluetooth-connected headphones. Ionic users will also be able to pair the smartwatch with smartphones in order to receive call, text, and other basic notifications when their phones are nearby.

On top of that, the Ionic can alert users to notifications from Facebook FB, Instagram, and Snapchat SNAP. Contactless payments can be made via users’ credit and debit cards, as well as the Starbucks SBUX mobile app. Ionic wearers will also be able to connect to the popular social fitness platform Strava.

The smartwatch, with a Corning Gorilla Glass face, is available in charcoal/smoke grey, slate blue/burnt orange, and blue grey/silver grey—with a few different strap options as well. Fitbit’s first foray into the smartwatch market comes with a $299.95 price tag. It is available for pre-order now and is set to ship and sell starting in October.

Apple Watch Series 3

On Tuesday, Apple’s Chief Operating Officer Jeff Williams introduced Apple Watch’s new operating system, the watchOS 4, which continues Apple’s trend towards more health-based features.

Like Fitbit, it boasts a redesigned workout app, as well as new features for swimmers and gym goers. WatchOS 4 can also track flights of stairs climbed. Apple Watch will now track heart rate metrics on the home screen, including resting heart rate and recovery heart rate. The watch can also notify a user if their heart rate is elevated when they don’t appear to be active.

Williams also introduced the brand new Apple Watch Series 3. The watch will feature built-in cellular to allow users the freedom to leave their phones behind and still receive calls (also read: What You Need To Know About The New Apple Watch Series 3).

On top of being able to take calls on the Apple Watch Series 3, users can receive messages and use Siri—which will be able to talk to users for the first time in Apple Watch history. Apple’s new smartwatch also allows people to use maps and WeChat. Series 3 users can stream over 40 million songs with Apple Music.

The Apple Watch Series 3 costs $399. Orders can be placed on Sept. 15 and will be ready as soon as Sept. 22. Apple will also sell a $329 version of the smartwatch that does not include cellular.

Bottom Line

Apple and Fitbit introduced their newest wearable offerings ahead of the all-important holiday season. And Fitbit’s first ever smartwatch seems to have the company headed back in the right direction. What's more, since the Ionic is so much cheaper than the Apple Watch Series 3 and also includes a major focus on health, it could be the first choice for fitness-focused wearables this year.

Right now, it looks like investors are making that connection too. Shares of the fitness wearable giant jumped over 6.23% on Wednesday and its stock price experienced gains in after-hours trading as well. Fitbit shares reached their highest price since January.

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