The big picture: Fitness tracker sales to individuals have not been going so well for Fitbit, but corporate partnerships with healthcare businesses and enterprise clients are keeping the company afloat with opportunity for growth.
Fitbit has unveiled a new Inspire fitness tracker, but is not going to be selling it in retail stores or online. Instead, the company has opted to make it available only through corporate partners that are health and wellness providers.
Arriving as a fully subsidized product intended to be distributed in mass quantities, Fitbit is promoting its new tracker as a way to encourage the well being of health care recipients. Showing activity and sleep tracking, calories burned, and prompting wearers with reminders to get up and move, the features are quite basic.
Comparing it to standard models that actually can be purchased, the Fitbit Inspire is most similar to the AltaHR. However, the Inspire base model does not come with heart rate monitoring and has slightly shorter battery life at five days instead of seven. An upgraded InspireHR adds a heart rate sensor.
Fitbit now has over 6.8 million wellness program members that are using fitness trackers. As the company becomes even more dependent upon business customers for its survival, the Fitbit Inspire may be a critical product launch.
Pricing on fitness trackers cannot be raised all that much without pushing them into smartwatch territory, an area that is notoriously difficult to thrive in. Apple has added so many fitness and health tracking features to its watch that Fitbit is often glanced over. When it comes to buying fitness trackers in bulk, business customers are more than willing to work with Fitbit because they are much more affordable.
Since Fitbit is only offering the Inspire and InspireHR through its partners under subsidy agreements, pricing is not available.