In order to sell the Fitbit at $99 to customers, a lot of work goes into low-cost design: picking the most cost-effective components that can meet the requirements and also developing a mechanical design that is cheap to manufacture and assemble in high volumes.
While some of the assembly, primarily the circuit board (PCB) and the components that go onto the board, can be automated by machines, a lot of the assembly of the Fitbit still has to be done by hand. In order to keep the manual labor costs low, we decided to assemble the Fitbit overseas in Singapore and Batam, Indonesia.
Eric and I made our first trip to Singapore in mid-October to meet in-person with our manufacturer and to visit their factories in Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia. It was a great educational trip where we learned a lot about the manufacturing process and the machines and people that go into creating a high quality product. I did get horribly sick at the end of the trip and I blame Eric :), since he made me drink some poorly prepared sugar cane juice, which I suspect did me in.
Anyways, I uploaded some photos from our visit to our Flickr photostream.