Something’s up with Jawbone.
The wearables/Bluetooth speaker/earbud maker was in the news today, and not in a good way. TechInsider reports that the company, which raised $165 million in a down round a few months ago, has stopped producing its UP2, UP3, and UP4 fitness trackers, selling existing inventory to liquidators. And Fortune says that Jawbone is exiting the Bluetooth speaker business to focus on medical-grade wearables.
The best-case read on this is that Jawbone is finally focusing on just one segment. And even in that segment, it realizes that its game is sorely lacking. Its best move may be just to start from square one.
Trouble is, there are a lot of companies that are way ahead of square one, and the wrist-worn wearables business is well on the way becoming commoditized. Medical-grade? Maybe. But it will take a lot of time and money to reach that bar, and time and money are two things that Jawbone may not have enough of.
Not for nothing, but notice that this news all started to come out late on a Friday afternoon before a holiday weekend. That’s what you do when you want to hide really bad news…