HTC has delayed the launch of its upcoming fitness wearable — the wrist-mounted HTC Grip — for the second time. The smartphone company, which developed the Grip with sportswear manufacturer Under Armour, has pushed its launch back until early next year, having previously indicated that it would see release alongside a suite of fitness products in 2015.
HTC DELAYED THE GRIP ONCE ALREADY
The $199 wristband, set to feature a touchscreen display and GPS radio, was originally scheduled to hit shelves this year. HTC first announced a delay to the project in July, saying that “after extensive wear testing and user feedback,” it had decided to “align Grip with the entire product portfolio for health and fitness launching later this year.” This second slip also appears to apply to HTC’s entire “Connected Fitness” platform: in a statement, HTC said it had decided in partnership with Under Armour to hold back its “fully integrated digital ecosystem of products” until 2016.
Along with the Vive VR headset — created with video game developer and publisher Valve — HTC’s Grip is an attempt by the company to diversify its product range. HTC has seen its smartphone sales and profits drop over the past few years, but there’s no guarantee its new enterprises will be huge commercial successes: VR headsets are yet to hit the market in any meaningful sense, and the fitness band sector is already crowded with competitors.