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Friday, February 21, 2014, 11:40 am PT (02:40 pm ET)

Allergic reactions cause Fitbit to recall wrist-worn Force fitness tracker

Apparent skin irritation issues have forced Fitbit to cease sales of its wrist-worn, iPhone-compatible Force, and also to recall units of the fitness tracker that are already on the market.

Fitbit


The official Fitbit Force recall notice was posted by the company on its website this week, in which CEO James Park formally apologized to anyone affected by the apparent issues. He revealed that 1.7 percent of Force users have reported skin irritation from using the device, and test results show that those people are likely experiencing allergic contact dermatitis.

"All Force materials are commonly used in consumer products," Park wrote. "However, some users may be reacting to the nickel present in the surgical grade stainless steel used in the device. Other users are likely experiencing an allergic reaction to the materials used in the strap or the adhesives used to assemble the product."

Sales of the Force have been halted, and a voluntary recall is now underway for the product. Park explained that although some users have seen allergic reactions, independent tests have not found any issues with the device's battery or electrical systems.

Users seeking more information can visit the official recall page, or call 888-656-6381.

Park also promised that Fitbit is working on a next-generation tracker that will presumably take the place of the now-unavailable Force. Though no official details were given, the CEO said his company will share details "soon."

AppleInsider reviewed the Fitbit Force in December, and we did not experience any skin irritation issues in our tests. The wrist-worn step counter features a tiny LED display, and a future update is scheduled to send iPhone notifications to its screen via Bluetooth. There is no indication whether those plans have changed given this week's discontinuation of the product.