Multiple websites have reported that Jawbone is bidding the consumer wearable tech scene farewell to focus their attention on medical software and hardware instead. You can read those news articles from Forbes, Tech Crunch, Financial Times and many more others.
Jawbone came to the consumer market with their stylish wearables that resembled fashionable wrist bands; a departure from the typical gaudy looking wrist band fitness trackers. The last rendition of the Jawbone UP tracker even featured NFC enabled playment with AMEX cards.
The Jawbone UP mobile app was also noteworthy, featuring automatic activity identification and tracking with sedentary alerts.
But one of the main issues that plagued the company was the durability of their devices. I’ve personally bought and used most of the Jawbone wearables and not a single one lasted longer than a year; some simply conked out after a month of two. A check online would reveal that the durability issues I faced are not unique.
The other challenge was simply the fact that smart watches and mobile devices are doing everything fitness trackers did, and more. Way more in fact. Then came the legal battles with Fitbit which was the last time Jawbone got so much news coverage without putting out a new product.
Whatever problems Jawbone faced, they’re calling it quits for consumer wearables and focusing their attention towards the clinical field. Their last Facebook post was 2nd February 2017, the equivalent of oblivion in social media time.
The consumer wearables market is far from saturated but the entry level is ridiculously high. Startups cobbling together accelerometers, optical heart rate sensors and injecting it with their dose of algorithm just doesn’t cut it these days. In just 2 short years since Fitbit’s IPO, the wearables market is now split among a few top players with Apple commanding the lion’s share.
It’s a brutal market with finicky consumers and only the fittest will survive. Pun intended.
Source: The Information