Jawbone seeks exit from retail market to pursue medical businesses
Jawbone has been in a tough spot for a while now. After building its business with a successful line of Bluetooth headsets and speakers, the company attempted to break into the burgeoning fitness tracker market with the UP. While the move garnered lots of attention, the market for fitness-focused wearables soon became a flooded canal with several different companies trying to fill a tiny niche. After the release of several lackluster products, it became clear that Jawbone couldn’t compete with juggernauts like Fitbit. Jawbone has slowly shed market share for years and faded into obscurity while still holding onto a thread.
Now, according to a report by TechCrunch, Jawbone may be looking to exit the consumer retail space and focus on businesses. This shift is driven by the pursuit of much larger profit margins found in sales to clinicians and healthcare professionals. Consumers present a tough market; manufacturers typically sell on razor thin margins to keep their products competitive. TechCrunch has also reported that Jawbone is pursuing several campaigns to raise funds and has collected over $950 million from investors such as Blackrock and JP Morgan. The company hasn’t been a very wise steward; it has reportedly burned through almost all of the funds with “very little to show in returns.”
Jawbone may find new life in a different market and under a different business model. The last consumer product released by Jawbone was the UP3, which debuted back in September of 2015. It’ll be interesting to see what’s in store for the future of the ever-changing company.