Jawbone mulls ditching consumers for health care market

The company has struggled to find a unique position in a market dominated by Fitbit and premium smart watches.

February 23, 2017

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The company has struggled to find a unique position in a market dominated by Fitbit and premium smart watches.

The minimalist design won Jawbone many fans early on, but it has struggled against Fitbit,
which now makes up most of the market. (Source: Jawbone)

When news broke last year that Jawbone was selling its Up line of fitness trackers, the company denied quickly that it had such plans. Contained within that rumor might have been a grain of truth, though. It is no secret that Jawbone has struggled to compete against the likes of Fitbit and the slate of smart watch companies that joined the wearables market over the last couple years. So it is also not surprising that the company is reportedly looking to increase margins by abandoning the consumer wearables market and selling health-centric devices to "clinicians and health providers working with patients," per TechCrunch.

Many tech companies relish the idea of breaking into the health care market precisely because the profits there tend to be much higher. Wearables have also looked quite promising for health care providers because of all the data collected from embedded sensors. In some cases, this data has proven it has the potential to tell when someone is getting sick or help administer medicine.

Making products useful in the health care market takes money, however, of which Jawbone is said to have very little. The company managed to raise $951 million from some notable investment firms, according to TechCrunch, but it has already spent most of that money without getting close to producing a new product.

However Jawbone happens to proceed, it is clear that the wearables market is tougher than ever before but health monitoring and activity tracking remain critical components. Having this kind of functionality is important for a lot of people, although that is not enough to make wearables as ubiquitous as smartphones.



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