Nike to Drop Wearables?

PDF Print E-mail

According to CNET Nike is giving up on wearable electronics, having fired the "majority" of its 70-strong FuelBand hardware development part of its technology-focused Digital Sport team.

FuelBandThe sportswear maker neither confirms nor denies the report, but tells CNET a "small number of layoffs" are to take place within the Digital Sport division. CNET suggests the layoffs total to 55.

“The Nike+ FuelBand SE remains an important part of our business,” the company says “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.”

Word of the layoffs-- and the company's cancellation of a FuelBand iteration-- first emerged on Secret, the self-explanatory social network.

Confirming the CNET report is Re/code, with a source telling “[Nike] are getting a lot of data and just do not know what to do with it… They could not exploit the market.”

Nike generated positive buzz with the FuelBand-- the fitness band even has a fan in the shape of Tim Cook. In fact, some suggest the scaling back of the Nike hardware effort means it will concentrate on software development, maybe with an Android FuelBand app or (wait for it!) Apple smartwatch software.

A recent IDC report says 2014 wearable device shipments are set to reach 19 million units, with the majority being accessories such as the FuelBand. But since Nike fails to give actual device shipments, one has to wonder how much of success it actually found in the low-margin CE business..

Go Nike Fires Majority of FuelBand Team (CNET)

Go Nike Denies FuelBand Shutdown (Re/code)

Go Secret Nike Post