When fitness tracking wearables were in a nascent stage, Nike was then too one of the first companies with such devices out in the market. But in the current age, with wearables such as the Fitbit Flex and the like, the Nike Fuelband feels outdated.
The Nike Fuelband itself hasn’t developed or evolved much in it’s second iteration: The Nike Fuelband SE only added stuff like Bluetooth support, more colors and not much more while competitors such as the Fitbit added exotic features such as Sleep Tracking and improved their accuracy by leaps and bounds with each iteration.
Plus with Google’s unveil of Android Wear, it’s new platform for smartwatches and the unveiling of slick new smartwatches by LG and Motorola, Nike had much to fear.
Maybe that’s why Nike has reportedly asked most of Fuelband’s hardware division to pack up their stuff and go home.
Yes, you heard that right, as CNET reports, Nike is laying off around 70%-80% (Around 55) of employees in the hardware division of Nike’s Fuelband.
“As a fast-paced, global business we continually align resources with business priorities,” Nike spokesman Brian Strong said to CNET “As our Digital Sport priorities evolve, we expect to make changes within the team, and there will be a small number of layoffs.”
The news of such layoffs had already leaked on anonymous social network Secret.
Which means while the production of current models won’t stop for a while, the development on new models will be halted.
“The Nike+ FuelBand SE remains an important part of our business. We will continue to improve the Nike+ FuelBand App, launch new METALUXE colors, and we will sell and support the Nike+ FuelBand SE for the foreseeable future,” Strong said in a follow-up comment to CNET.
However, Nike isn’t completely resigning from the wearables market, instead it would be focusing on things like Software, which it would continue to develop. Many are saying that with Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook on Nike’s board, Nike’s software will be seen on the purported Apple smartwatch.