The original Versa was precisely the hit a stumbling Fitbit needed. The device was a simple and affordable Apple Watch alternative, helping the company finally break into the one bright spot in the wearable field. According to yesterday’s earnings, the Versa Lite has so far failed to recapture the Versa’s success by offering a fewer features at a discounted price.
The good news for Fitbit, however, is that a new Versa is already on the way. Spotted by perennial leaker, Evan Blass, the device brings some hardware upgrades to the 2018’s device. The screen gets an update from LCD to AMOLED, along with a case refresh, which the Verge rightly notes makes the squircle design even more Apple Watch-esque.
Honestly, however, the biggest news about the device is probably smart assistant support. Wearables are among the key applications for voice interactions, so it certainly makes sense here. But what’s a poor wearable maker to do when the competition has Siri and Google Assistant? Simple: partner with Amazon.
No specifics on how Alexa will be used here, but the addition is a no-brainer for Fitbit. After all the money it pumped into acquisitions to create the Ionic and Versa, a proprietary smart assistant is probably a bridge too far at this point (and Samsung’s Bixby expenditures point to how difficult that growth can be). So the company enlisted an already extremely popular assistant with little wearable market share to show for it.