Fitness Wearable Tech in Flux as Nike Pulls the Plug on FuelBand

April 29, 2014 - 2 minutes read

nike fuelband fitness tracker

According to recent reports, Nike has dismissed between 70 and 80 percent of its FuelBand department. Tech media giant CNET surmises that the move signals a shift in strategy from Nike, away from computer hardware towards computer software.

The Nike FuelBand, which the company hoped would herald a successful entry into the wearables market, has not yet officially been discontinued. While Nike responded to the CNET report by saying that it will “sell and support Nike+ FuelBand SE for the foreseeable future,” many industry insiders expect that the FuelBand is living on borrowed time. It is widely expected that Nike will instead concentrate on software designed to help active people track and measure their fitness progress and performance goals.

The dismissal of the majority of the FuelBand team marks the end of a tumultuous few months for the wearable technology. As recently as last fall, Nike was reportedly planning to expand its lineup of wearables before abruptly announcing the cancellation of a new and improved FuelBand. However, with the wearables market poised for extremely fierce competition in the coming years, it appears Nike has decided to step off the battlefield.

For a mobile app developer in San Francisco, the implications of Nike’s move are significant. While the FuelBand may well eventually be discontinued, many expect the company to expand its Nike+ network. Thus, apps designed for the network will still be able to reach a large market which is expected to keep growing.

Bluetooth app developers can also view Nike’s anticipated exit from the wearables market from an alternative point of view. Analysts believe that Nike is stepping away from the FuelBand because it doesn’t believe it can compete against giants like Google’s Android over the long term. Correctly anticipating the future direction of the wearables market could mean the difference between success and failure when it comes to app development.

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