Just the other day, rumor was spreading across the Interwebs claiming that Nike is axing its FuelBand division which makes the sport tracking smart band. According to the original CNet report, most of the team was to be let go, with Nike halting production of the hardware altogether.
Nike has since reacted saying that these were bogus rumors. It did layoff some workers in the FuelBand division, but only a small number of employees.
“The Nike+ FuelBand SE remains an important part of our business,” the company said in a statement sent to Re/code. “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.”
In some sense, it would make perfect sense for Nike to ditch the hardware making part of the business. Modern smart bands such as Jawbone UP, Fitbit and Atlas are more powerful than what the sports equipment giant is selling, and since these companies are laser-focused on the underlying technology, it could be hard for Nike to compete in the long run. It could opt to acquire one of these companies or leave the business altogether.
In any case, we’ll keep watching what Nike is doing in the mHealth space and get back to you when we hear something new. Stay tuned…