Apple constantly wins plaudits for being a brand consumers feel passionate about, but Fitbit Chief Financial Officer Bill Zerella doesn’t think that applies to the Apple Watch.
Speaking at the recent Roth Investment Conference in Laguna Beach, California, Zerella said that, “I have yet to meet anyone who owns an Apple Watch who’s passionate about the product.”
Throwing even more shade on Apple’s wearable, he suggested that it is mainly piggybacking off sales of the iPhone. “If you don’t have an Apple phone, you’re not buying an Apple Watch… [and] 80 percent of the world is Android, not Apple,” he continued.
The wearables battle
The Chief Financial Officer of Fitbit does, of course, have a dog in this race. His comments come shortly after Apple reportedly surpassed Fitbit in the wearables market.
While Apple hasn’t revealed sales of the Apple Watch, the latest IDC data suggests that Apple sold more wearables than any rival (including Fitbit and Xiaomi) last quarter, thanks to strong demand for the Apple Watch 3.
Fitbit, meanwhile, is ramping up its efforts to compete with Apple by introducing the new Versa smartwatch. The new Fitbit wearable looks similar to the Apple Watch, and offers music playback and other capabilities at a price under $200.
Last year, the company also introduced its $299.95 Fitbit Ionic, its first stab at an Apple Watch-style device, complete with GPS.
As Barrons notes, right now Fitbit is struggling in the marketplace, with a share price of $5.20 and an overall market value of $1.2 billion — or a net enterprise value of just $560 million.
Let’s also not forget that, while the Apple Watch is no iPhone in terms of sales (what is?), it has scored some of Apple’s highest satisfaction ratings of all time, including besting the original iPhone and iPad.
What do you think about Zerella’s comments? Are they sour grapes on the part of someone on the losing side of the wearables battle? Or does he have a point about folks’ lack of love for the Apple Watch? Let us know your thoughts below.