Company / division: Jawbone
Weekly Narrative Video – Wearables are Struggling (Jul 8, 2017)
This past week’s narrative video is on the Wearables are Struggling narrative, in light of the news that Jawbone is entering liquidation. I’ve seen lots read into that news, some of it sensible and some of it probably overblown as far as the significance for the broader wearables industry. In the video, I talk through how I see the news, and also what I think about the state of the wearables market. Subscribers can watch the video on the narrative page here as always, and if you’re not yet a subscriber you can sign up for a 30-day free trial here and get access too.
Jawbone Has Begun Liquidation Proceedings (Jul 6, 2017)
Fitbit was already in the news recently when it ended its attempts to block sales of Jawbone devices on the basis that the latter appeared to be circling the drain, so it seems even more of a knife between the ribs in the context of an allleged attempt at an acquisition. Though this one failed, it’s further evidence that Fitbit is engaging in a massive rollup of wearable technology companies. But this story is also noteworthy for what it says about Jawbone’s plans to secure a future for itself, which apparently are centered on FDA-approved healthcare devices and therefore potentially an insurance-subsidized model. Fitbit has already pursued the corporate market, and Apple Watches have been sponsored under certain employee healthcare plans too – this is a fascinating new thread in the development of wearables, and one that has the potential to mirror the benefits the iPhone and other smartphones received from the carrier subsidy model.
Jawbone was one of the pioneers in the wearables space, but seems to be in free-fall at this point – it’s worth noting that the reason Fitbit is ending its opposition to Jawbone’s device sales is that Jawbone seems to be in so much trouble. It’s a cautionary tale that even the early big names in a new space don’t always do well over the long term – Pebble is another obvious example in the same space.