Apple Watch had plenty of competition already on the streets when it debuted a few years ago. Samsung and Android were way ahead of Watch. What do you see today? Watch owns the watch wearable space but there is a competitor with something familiar. The Fitbit Copycat.
Nylon Bands, Oh My!
Why did Samsung’s version of a smartwatch fail so badly? It came out before Apple Watch and Samsung didn’t have anything to copy. That’s what good copycats do. They copy incessantly. Samsung’s executives thought they could beat Apple to the punch with an electronic tuna can strapped to a wrist and call it a day.
That didn’t work. Apple’s Watch launched and improved rapidly while everyone else that wanted to make a smart wearable went back to the drawing boards so they could copy the Watch that Apple built. Here is a look at the Fitbit Versa. Does this seem familiar to you?
It should be apparent from both the design, the watchband, and the features, that Fitbit simply checked off a list of Apple Watch features and crammed them into a similar looking case and cut the price tag a bit.
$200 gets you a black case with a black band. Verso is a fitness and sleep tracker, a heart rate tracker, runs various applications including notifications, plays music, and has four-day battery life.
Oh, and it swims. But more than anything else it looks like Apple Watch and it costs less.
Yes, there is an iPhone app that helps you track exercise and health. The Dashboard sets goals. Sleep is tracked, including REM, and if you’re a women, that time of the month can be tracked, too. Versa comes with pleasant reminders to keep you moving, an option to enter a guided breathing session to find a moment of calm in a tattered world.
There’s the PurePulse Heart Rate sensor, onscreen workouts, more than 15 exercise modes, and, of course GPS. All built-in. If you’re willing to spend a bit more money for more expensive versions you can pay with Versa using… insert drum roll here… Fitbit Pay.
They say differentiation is a key component of product marketing so when you’re in full on copycat mode how do you differentiate a new product from the industry leader? Price? Check. Clock faces? Check. Build your own clock face? Check. Longer battery life? Check. Similar but different watchband accessories? Check.
Versa’s water resistance runs to 50 meters. Unlike Watch, Versa is one size fits all for the case, but it comes with small and large bands. Pay more for the Special Edition aluminum case. All things considered, this might be smartwatch that cuts into Apple Watch marketshare. It’s less expensive. It’s different. But it’s similar. And it has longer battery life.
What’s not to like? It’s the copycat method of research and development done right.
If it works.