Jawbone said to end fitness tracker sales, may sell off speaker business [u]
Once a mainstay of both industries, Jawbone is reportedly exiting the fitness-tracking world — at least temporarily — as well as trying to sell off its speaker division.
The company has stopped manufacturing its UP series of wristbands and sold remaining inventory to a third-party distributor, Tech Insider said on Friday. Consumer sales were allegedly weak, forcing Jawbone to get rid of the excess units at a discount.
Jawbone's last major tracker, the UP4, launched over a year ago, but never caught on. It was perhaps the first fitness tracker to offer support for wireless payments, beating out even the Apple Watch, though UP4 wearers could only add American Express cards.
Fortune sources separately claimed that Jawbone has put its Jambox speaker business up for sale, and is working with distributors to sell off inventory. The company is allegedly hoping to concentrate on its fitness-tracking business — but if so, it's not clear how that would mesh with Tech Insider's report.
One possibility is that Jawbone will eventually return with a new tracker. Earlier this year the company raised $165 million in funding, and CEO Hosain Rahman said he intended to use the money to make clinical-grade fitness devices.
The wearables market is now extremely crowded, with companies like Apple, Fitbit, Garmin, Polar, Samsung, and even Microsoft vying for attention. Fitbit is by far the market leader, with a 24.5 percent marketshare.
Update: According to source, Jawbone is working on a last-ditch effort to stay relevant in the wearable game, and will this summer reveal a clinical health device related to heart monitoring, The Verge reports.