Nike reportedly getting out of the activity-tracking hardware business

Nike reportedly getting out of the activity-tracking hardware business

Summary: Nike's FuelBands are elegant life-activity tracking devices, but a recent CNET report stated the hardware team was dissolving as Nike leaves others to focus on wearable hardware.

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TOPICS: Mobility, Health, iPhone
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Nike reportedly getting out of the activity tracking hardware business
(Image: Nike)

A couple of years ago I bought a Nike+ FuelBand and thought it was an impressive piece of hardware. I looked forward to updates, but according to CNET Nike fired most of the FuelBand team and is getting out of the activity-tracker hardware business.

With all of the wearable announcements at CES 2014 and analysts' predictions for continued growth in this market, I was a bit surprised to hear the news. Nike's FuelBands are some of the best pieces of wearable hardware I have ever tested and they seemed to be successful with these products.

The CNET article reports that the next iteration, due this fall, was cancelled. The current device, the second generation FuelBand SE, will continue to be sold. I gave up on the FuelBand after Nike broke its promise to release an Android application. Nike has applications on smartphones and as we see more and more smartphones support activity tracking from the phone itself, Nike can focus on the software experience with its Nike+ ecosystem.

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Topics: Mobility, Health, iPhone

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  • Could it also be because Apple is going to come out with the smart watch

    Most likely they are pulling out of the hardware portion of the business because Apple is about to step into the smart watch world.
    I am sure there is a Nike app that will be included in Apple's new device.
    soylentgreen77
    • I'm with syolentgreen 77

      I agree, it's likely Nike knows Apple will soon take a huge piece of the smartwatch pie and that they can make far more through Apple (making software for iOS) than by competing with Apple's hardware.
      SimpleTechReview.com
      • Marketing

        Nike is a marketing company and makes very little themselves. The contract out all there manufacturing and most of the design. They mostly just issue broad directives. When one of there many vendors comes up with a great design then they order and market huge volumes of this. I am surprised they would even do this design themselves. If you look closer I wonder if the design team ever got a pay check directly from Nike. Nike probably just opted to not manufacture the next generation.
        MichaelInMA
      • competing *against*, surely?

        Still, both platforms have many customers. It seems shortsighted to work on one product than just dump it to work exclusively for another.

        If this were Windows Phone being dumped, a lot fewer people would be surprised.
        HypnoToad72
    • I'm with syolentgreen 77

      I agree, it's likely Nike knows Apple will soon take a huge piece of the smartwatch pie and that they can make far more through Apple (making software for iOS) than by competing with Apple's hardware.
      SimpleTechReview.com
  • I heard they were a bit silly though . . .

    I heard they were a bit silly though . . . used some sort of "fuel" for measurements?

    I'm sure it's great as a marketing gimmick, but when the rubber hits the road, I really don't want to be measuring my health with something invented by a marketing department. I want something more practical.
    CobraA1
  • big players coming

    With big players (Samsung, Apple...) coming to wearables, Nike has been clever enough to leave that field.
    aviamquepasa
  • Short lived tech fad?

    So much of this stuff is just a fad. It looks like something people can really use, but few really end up using it.
    I imagine Google Glass or smart watches will end up with the same fate. I think the corrolation of these things with pretend gadgets from the past intrigues us. So when a actual working product comes out. Its like, WOW I can be like Dick Tracy, or some other past fatansy of the future. Well, now the future is here, some of these products are not filling a real need,just a fatansy.
    JohnnyES-25227553276394558534412264934521
    • And unlike a pet rock, it takes more time to develop an actual application

      Making a product that is going to sell for $2.99 will take a while to recoup, especially when $.98 of each purchase goes back to Apple...
      HypnoToad72
  • MyCarTracks

    MyCarTracks is the android app I chose for mapping my movements, whether via car or jogging or cycling. Most of the other mapping apps are for locating your stolen phone or your kid via his phone or tracking an employee online. MyCarTracks doesn't require realtime online tracking, though it can do it. I just use it to record where i go for later review, and it gives me the same cool graphs of elevation and speed that I get from my Garmin eTrex 30 GPS. My little Motorola smartphone is wearable enough for me, thanks.
    Or, if I need 24-hour battery life and spare, easily-changeable AAs, I use the Garmin. I don't see the advantage in this wearable stuff.
    kidtree