Fitbit joined CES 2017 last week where it announced the new partnerships it has established with VirZoom, Peloton and Habit. More than these partnerships, however, the trackers and wearable company surprised everyone when it revealed its desire to launch its own dedicated app store within this year.
Before CES ended this Sunday, Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Park said in an interview that his company is launching its own app store “ as soon as possible.” According to Park, having its own dedicated app store would surely be helpful to its employees as well as the health care firms that are using Fitbit’s devices for their health and wellness programs.
“There are so many different applications [our partners] want to write, from fitness-related ones to pill to pill reminder applications.“ Park was quoted as saying by Wareable. “And we don’t have the support in place for that right now, or any software infrastructure on our devices to run those apps.”
Fitbit intends to launch an app store as quickly as possible, but it’s very likely that this plan would materialize before the end of this year. It is important to note that Fitbit acquired Pebble for $40 million last month, so expanding its platform will not be that hard to do.
Android Headlines noted that having its dedicated app store could ensure the growth of Fitbit’s ecosystem. Also, Pebble could be very useful in this venture, given that the Pebble app store has over 14,000 third-party applications. Fitbit mostly focused on creating trackers and wearables for an affordable price, so it’s just right for the company to finally come up with an app store of its own.
Park’s statement about a Fitbit app store has already fueled speculations that the company could be working on a smartwatch. Fitbit has already introduced a smartwatch-like product, called the Blaze, into the market, but it has yet to take on Apple’s Apple Watch and Samsung’s Gear S devices with a full-fledged smartwatch. Perhaps this year could mark that big leap for the company.