Fitbit is already one of the top brands for fitness trackers, but it’s latest plans to open an app store this year will be a game changer when it comes to the wearables market and the next model it comes out with.

Fitbit CEO James Park gave reporters the tip of the company’s plans at CES last week, revealing that Fitbit is looking to launch its very own app store “as soon as possible.”

In a crowded market, an app store would help set Fitbit out from the other players in the game. This could be especially helpful as the company continues to compete with smartwatches like the Apple Watch and Samsung Gear 2, which can do a whole lot more than also track calories, steps, heart rate and sleep.

In fact, these plans seem like the next natural step for the company after it acquired the smartwatch startup Pebble last month for less than a reported $40 million.

What was so attractive about Pebble is its software, with Pebble having about 14,000 third-party apps in its store.

As part of the acquisition, the company is said to have offered jobs to software engineers at Pebble. This further suggest that a major part of the acquisition was to incorporate Pebble’s software to the world of Fitbit.

Launching its own app store would mean users could download third-party apps to transform their Fitbit to be more than just a fitness tracker.

Sure it could simply mean new features are coming to the next models such as being able to set pill reminders. But with a new team of software engineers, it’s about time that the company release smartwatches that are also fitness trackers to be able to keep up with the evolving market.

So it looks like Fitbit will probably be launching a new smartwatch this year that will have more capabilities than last year’s Fitbit Blaze (which doesn’t allow users to download third-party apps) if the app store launches in 2017 as planned.

 

 

Photo: Mike Mozart | Flickr

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