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Fitbit-India
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CITIUS ALTIUS FORTIUS

Fitbit is finally bringing its fitness wearables to India

By Kunal Sehgal & Maria Thomas

This post has been corrected.

The world’s largest wearables company is coming to India.

San Francisco-headquartered Fitbit will partner with e-commerce firm Amazon to offer four types of wearable bands to help Indian consumers track their fitness, the Indian Express newspaper reported. These devices will be available through a Fitbit store on Amazon’s India website from July 1.

“We are establishing an Indian entity and the first employees will be joining soon,” Steve Morley, vice-president and general manager Asia Pacific for Fitbit, told the Indian Express.

At the time of writing this post, Amazon India and Fitbit had not responded to Quartz’s requests for comment.

Founded in 2007, Fitbit commands 85% of the global health wearables market and made a big splash on the day of its debut on the New York Stock Exchange last week. The company is now worth $8 billion—more than double its value at the IPO price.

Demand for wearables is surging around the world, with shipments expected to jump 173% this year, according to a report by research firm IDC. But it’s still early days in India, with the market for health wearable devices at just Rs25 crore ($3.9 million), compared to a $1 billion market in the US.

Although that means there’s huge room for growth, Fitbit is likely to face one sticky issue right away: Its price.

The four Fitbit bands on offer will be priced between Rs4,000 and Rs19,990 ($62.9-$314.2). That’s significantly higher than the Mi Band made by Xiaomi—currently available for just Rs999 ($15.7)—that has become a huge success in India and around the world.

“I think that the current price points for most smartwatches and fitness trackers today are unrealistic for India,” Hugo Barra, Xiaomi’s global vice president, said in an interview last year, adding that fitness trackers should be priced below $25 to succeed in the country.

Fitbit will also have to compete with India’s homegrown wearable companies.

Micromax, India’s leading smartphone supplier, launched its first healthcare wearable device, YuFit, last month. It helps in tracking fitness levels and works in tandem with a fitness app, HealthYU. While the device is available for a rock-bottom price of Rs999 ($15.7), the app costs Rs4,999 ($78.5).

“Honestly, it’s as good if not better than Fitbit. It does everything that Fitbit does,” Tushar Vashisht, co-founder & CEO of HealthifyMe, which helped to develop the application, told Quartz.

A number of other Indian startups has also sprung up with their own products to grab a slice of the health wearables pie. GetActive, a wearable that monitors movement and sleep patterns through 3D sensors, sold over 15,000 units in its first year after launching in 2013.

And abroad, rivals such as Apple are closing in on Fitbit’s lead.

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly mentioned that a Bengaluru-based startup, 42gears.com, had come out with a health wearable. The company has clarified that it is a mobile software solutions provider, not a device manufacturer.