The Fitbit Ionic was designed to be the future of the struggling wearable maker, but so far the smartwatch has failed to catch the world on fire. As CEO James Park put it during this week’s financials, sales on the device “didn’t turn out the way that we expected it.”
Of course, the wearable has improved a bit since its lackluster launch, after the company opened it up to third party apps. And a day after confirming the watch’s disappointments, the company is talking product again, announcing that the Adidas-branded version of the smartwatch is ready to launch — news it no doubt hopes will add a bit of a spring to the Ionic’s step.
The Fitbit Ionic: Adidas Edition, which was was announced back in August, alongside the standard version of the device, finally goes up for pre-order today. The watch runs $330 — a $30 premium over the standard product. The move runs counter to Apple’s approach with its Nike device, which cost the same as its non-branded counterpart.
As with the Nike watch, the Adidas Edition gets you a custom watch face and a perforated “breathable” band for running. This version also comes pre-loaded with Adidas’ Train app, featuring a half-dozen different exercises with built-in coaching.
The Nike/Apple deal has been a long and fruitful one for the two companies. Adidas and Fitbit could also prove mutually beneficial, with some added name recognition from one of the world’s largest shoe brands, which has been seeing some solid growth in key markets. For Adidas, meanwhile, it provides an opportunity to keep a hand in the wearable world after shuttering its internal department.
Of course, Fitbit’s already looking at the next big thing after the Ionic’s unimpressive debut, promising a smartwatch with more “mass appeal” in the future — a description that doesn’t exactly apply to an Adidas brand version of a fitness first smartwatch.
The Fitbit Ionic: Adidas Edition starts shipping March 19.