(Antonio Villas-Boas/Tech Insider)
Fitbit shares are down more than 10% on Tuesday, following the unveiling of its new Blaze fitness watch at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
The new device is Fitbit's closest answer to the Apple Watch, which was released in 2015 and which raised concerns that Fitbit could lose its early position in the market for wearable devices.
Fitbit described the Blaze as a fitness oriented watch, rather than an all-purpose watch like the Apple Watch. The Blaze can track the heart rate of its wearer, as well as calories burned, steps and sleep, but it does not support third-party apps as Apple's Watch does.
That may explain some of Wall Street's negative reaction.
"The $199 device has a number of enhanced fitness features and a battery life of up to five days, better than most devices on the market," wrote S&P Capital IQ analyst Angelo Zino in a research note on Tuesday. "However, we believe the price point may prove to be too high for a device that will not offer access to third-party apps, unlike other smartwatches."
Shares of Fitbit fell 12.26%, or $3.65, to $26.11 in mid day trading on Tuesday. And shares of Fitbit traded hands at more than twice the stock's average trading volume.
The Blaze is Fitbit's first new product since the company went public in June.
While the gadget is primarily fitness-focused, it nonetheless represents Fitbit's most significant effort to appeal to a broader, mainstream audience as it competes more directly with Apple, according to FBR Capital Markets analyst Daniel Ives.
"It’s a logical move, but there’s risks as they go more into the actual smartwatch category," said Ives.
"There’s massive growth in the market. But I think the jury is still out in terms of what consumer adoption going to be in 2016, especially with Apple going so aggressive after this market," Ives noted.
"I’d almost call it a boxing match between Fibit and Apple," he said.
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