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Nike to reportedly exit wearables market, fires bulk of FuelBand team [u]

post #1 of 92
Thread Starter 
A rumor on Friday claims Nike is planning to shut down the division responsible for creating wearable fitness trackers, starting with the axing of as many as 55 people from the FuelBand team.

FuelBand SE


Citing people familiar with the situation, CNET reports Nike is looking to quickly spin down its Digital Sport division, which is responsible for products like the FuelBand SE, Nike+ sportwatch and other connected devices.

According to the source, Nike notified the division's 70-person hardware team of the decision on Thursday, ultimately firing 70 to 80 percent of the group, or up to 55 people. A number of those let go may potentially take on positions in other Nike offices, though details are unknown at this time. Nike has yet to confirm the supposed job cuts .

"As a fast-paced, global business we continually align resources with business priorities," said Nike spokesman Brian Strong. "As our Digital Sport priorities evolve, we expect to make changes within the team, and there will be a small number of layoffs. We do not comment on individual employment matters."

In a more questionable post on anonymous social network Secret last week, one supposed team member said, "The douchebag execs at Nike are going to lay off a bunch of the eng team who developed the FuelBand, and other Nike+ stuff. Mostly because the execs committed gross negligence, wasted tons of money, and didn't know what they were doing."

The hardware team accounted for less than half of Nike's Digital Sport arm, which employs some 200 people. Interestingly, the software team, called Nike Digital Tech, will not be affected by the reported rejiggering, leading some to speculate that the company is planning to provide Apple with backbone software for its much-rumored iWatch device.

Nike last week announced a new research and development entity in San Francisco called Fuel Lab, which will concentrate on building out products leveraging the NikeFuel workout metric.

Circumstantial evidence supports such a partnership, but proof of a deal is far from concrete. Apple CEO Tim Cook has been on Nike's board for nine years, which likely played a role in the brand's ability to stay on the cutting edge of fitness software incorporated into Apple products. Nike+, for example, has been part of Apple's ecosystem since the Nike+iPod sensor kit was released in 2006.

Most recently, when the latest iPhone 5s was revealed, a specialized Nike+ Move app was shown off during a demo of the handset's dedicated M7 motion coprocessor.

Update: In a statement to Re/code, Nike confirmed a "small number" of people within its digital division were let go, but refuted CNET's report that it is closing the team's hardware arm.

"The Nike+ FuelBand SE remains an important part of our business. We will continue to improve the Nike+ FuelBand App, launch new METALUXE colors, and we will sell and support the Nike+ FuelBand SE for the foreseeable future."
post #2 of 92
I guess if Samsung is serious about the fitness wearables market, a bunch of experienced people just became available.

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post #3 of 92
I love the idea of a wearable companion to my iPhone but I have no desire for "Fitness apps" - I really, really don't care about calories burned, steps taken or any undefined fitness goals.

I want to know who's calling me, the ability to dismiss that call if I don't want to take it, the time, what Texts are coming in, and notifications that I set up on my phone. I want it light, clear to read, easy to charge, and to look nice.

I want an addition to my mobile. Not a replacement, and not some prettified overpriced pedometer.
post #4 of 92

I think Nike is ceding the market to Apple.

Perhaps they will co-brand a version of the iWatch with Apple.

The Nike products are cool.  Perhaps Apple can hire some of the Nike people.

 

Time will tell.

post #5 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by saintstryfe View Post

I love the idea of a wearable companion to my iPhone but I have no desire for "Fitness apps" - I really, really don't care about calories burned, steps taken or any undefined fitness goals.

I want to know who's calling me, the ability to dismiss that call if I don't want to take it, the time, what Texts are coming in, and notifications that I set up on my phone. I want it light, clear to read, easy to charge, and to look nice.

I want an addition to my mobile. Not a replacement, and not some prettified overpriced pedometer.

What about a health-related device, not necessarily about fitness?

Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

I think Nike is ceding the market to Apple.
Perhaps they will co-brand a version of the iWatch with Apple.
The Nike products are cool.  Perhaps Apple can hire some of the Nike people.

Time will tell.

That definitely crossed my mind when I heard about this.

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post #6 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

I think Nike is ceding the market to Apple.
Perhaps they will co-brand a version of the iWatch with Apple.
The Nike products are cool.  Perhaps Apple can hire some of the Nike people.

Time will tell.
I hope Apple hires some of these guys. Don't let competitors snatch them up.
post #7 of 92
Isn't nike CEO on Apple Board??
post #8 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by supdizzle View Post

Isn't nike CEO on Apple Board??

Doesn't look like. Google says the Nike CEO is Mark Parker.

Here is a list of their current board of directors.


edit: And no one on Nike's board appears to work for Apple.

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post #9 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post
 

I think Nike is ceding the market to Apple.

Perhaps they will co-brand a version of the iWatch with Apple.

The Nike products are cool.  Perhaps Apple can hire some of the Nike people.

 

Time will tell.

Nike isn't ceding the market to Apple because Apple has no wearable devices as of yet.  Nike is ceding it to Android/Samsung/Motorola.  Nike wouldn't stand a chance against Google's Destroyer OS or Samsung's Tizen.  By the time Apple gets into the wearables market, they'll be lucky to grab 5% of that potentially lucrative market.  Samsung already dominates the entire smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear and Motorola's 360 might get lucky and snatch the rest.  Apple is well behind the eight ball to begin with and it's a given they'll never have much in terms of market share.  Apple usually needs to get first mover advantage before Android eventually takes all market share away from the company.  Apple starting in a market that Android already controls is practically suicide.  Nike is smart to give up because they would have no chance of being profitable after the wearable's price war starts among the mega-rich tech companies.  Any market Samsung wants, they just take it and make it look easy.

post #10 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

edit: And no one on Nike's board appears to work for Apple.

What about Tim Cook?
post #11 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Nike isn't ceding the market to Apple because Apple has no wearable devices as of yet.

That's one big Nike Swoosh right over your head.

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post #12 of 92

I think it's short sighted of them. Eventually computers will become built in to our clothes, the wristwatch will only be a stepping stone, and shoes will be one of the first items of clothing due to the ample room in the sole. They should have kept up their efforts.

post #13 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

What about Tim Cook?

LOL Timothy D. Cook did not register with me at all. Talk about going over someone's head. 1hmm.gif

That does give some credence to the hypothesis that Nike is getting out knowing that Apple is ready to dominate this market.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #14 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Nike isn't ceding the market to Apple because Apple has no wearable devices as of yet.  Nike is ceding it to Android/Samsung/Motorola.  Nike wouldn't stand a chance against Google's Destroyer OS or Samsung's Tizen.  By the time Apple gets into the wearables market, they'll be lucky to grab 5% of that potentially lucrative market.  Samsung already dominates the entire smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear and Motorola's 360 might get lucky and snatch the rest.  Apple is well behind the eight ball to begin with and it's a given they'll never have much in terms of market share.  Apple usually needs to get first mover advantage before Android eventually takes all market share away from the company.  Apple starting in a market that Android already controls is practically suicide.  Nike is smart to give up because they would have no chance of being profitable after the wearable's price war starts among the mega-rich tech companies.  Any market Samsung wants, they just take it and make it look easy.

Haha. I'm assuming you are either joking or simply trolling with this ridiculous statement. Galaxy Gear definitely has the market for truly ugly and badly designed watches covered. Pretty sure Apple will be looking to enter a different market - people with taste who wants something that works well.

As for needing the first mover advantage, name one thing Apple has ever had that or needed it. MP3 players? No. Phones? No. Tablets? No. I think you are confused. They are often the first to move with a product that is about good design, considered functionality and quality build. If that is what you mean, if they enter the wearable market, they will again have first mover advantage. Samsung can then simply copy it a year later...
post #15 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Nike isn't ceding the market to Apple because Apple has no wearable devices as of yet.  Nike is ceding it to Android/Samsung/Motorola.  Nike wouldn't stand a chance against Google's Destroyer OS or Samsung's Tizen.  By the time Apple gets into the wearables market, they'll be lucky to grab 5% of that potentially lucrative market.  Samsung already dominates the entire smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear and Motorola's 360 might get lucky and snatch the rest.  Apple is well behind the eight ball to begin with and it's a given they'll never have much in terms of market share.  Apple usually needs to get first mover advantage before Android eventually takes all market share away from the company.  Apple starting in a market that Android already controls is practically suicide.  Nike is smart to give up because they would have no chance of being profitable after the wearable's price war starts among the mega-rich tech companies.  Any market Samsung wants, they just take it and make it look easy.
You forgot /s tag.
post #16 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


LOL Timothy D. Cook did not register with me at all. Talk about going over someone's head. 1hmm.gif

That does give some credence to the hypothesis that Nike is getting out knowing that Apple is ready to dominate this market.

I knew there was some connection between them

post #17 of 92
Do you see that there left field? That's where this news came out of.

The writing has to be on the wall. There had to be a reason for the exclusivity of the Nike apps to iOS. They must have something cooking with Apple. The Fuelband must have been the test bed.
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post #18 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Nike isn't ceding the market to Apple because Apple has no wearable devices as of yet.  Nike is ceding it to Android/Samsung/Motorola.  Nike wouldn't stand a chance against Google's Destroyer OS or Samsung's Tizen.  By the time Apple gets into the wearables market, they'll be lucky to grab 5% of that potentially lucrative market.  Samsung already dominates the entire smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear and Motorola's 360 might get lucky and snatch the rest.  Apple is well behind the eight ball to begin with and it's a given they'll never have much in terms of market share.  Apple usually needs to get first mover advantage before Android eventually takes all market share away from the company.  Apple starting in a market that Android already controls is practically suicide.  Nike is smart to give up because they would have no chance of being profitable after the wearable's price war starts among the mega-rich tech companies.  Any market Samsung wants, they just take it and make it look easy.

Funniest post of the day.

Samsung doesn't own anything in the wearables market. Pebble, fitbit and even Nike Fuel all handily eat samsung's lunch. Samsung got into the market based on speculation that Apple was going to. And what happens when they don't have Apple to copy? We get the joke named Gear. Even the Fit, their best entry so far, is universally reviewed as an unmitigated disaster.

"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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"My 8th grade math teacher once said: "You can't help it if you're dumb, you are born that way. But stupid is self inflicted."" -Hiro. 

...sometimes it's both
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post #19 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

Nike isn't ceding the market to Apple because Apple has no wearable devices as of yet.  Nike is ceding it to Android/Samsung/Motorola.  Nike wouldn't stand a chance against Google's Destroyer OS or Samsung's Tizen.  By the time Apple gets into the wearables market, they'll be lucky to grab 5% of that potentially lucrative market.  Samsung already dominates the entire smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear and Motorola's 360 might get lucky and snatch the rest.  Apple is well behind the eight ball to begin with and it's a given they'll never have much in terms of market share.  Apple usually needs to get first mover advantage before Android eventually takes all market share away from the company.  Apple starting in a market that Android already controls is practically suicide.  Nike is smart to give up because they would have no chance of being profitable after the wearable's price war starts among the mega-rich tech companies.  Any market Samsung wants, they just take it and make it look easy.

Wow. Seriously, what drugs are you taking? Stop the medication immediately and go check a doctor. Is there a single letter that makes sense in your comment?
post #20 of 92
They probably know something. iWatch announcement at WWDC?
post #21 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

They probably know something. iWatch announcement at WWDC?

Yes, I wonder if there's a formal contract announcement between Apple and Nike forthcoming? Maybe the iShoe.

post #22 of 92
Maybe an answer to the Galaxy smartwatches called 'shoo shoo!'

Edit : they are not even good watches so 'smartwatches'
post #23 of 92
The fuel bands are simply fancy pedometer that really don't do much and have a very high failure rate. I've heard of so many complaints of product failures and a subsequent lack of support by Nike so this news wouldn't surprise me. It is a crappy product with crappy reliability.
post #24 of 92
But it looks super cool!
post #25 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by saintstryfe View Post

I love the idea of a wearable companion to my iPhone but I have no desire for "Fitness apps" - I really, really don't care about calories burned, steps taken or any undefined fitness goals.

I want to know who's calling me, the ability to dismiss that call if I don't want to take it, the time, what Texts are coming in, and notifications that I set up on my phone. I want it light, clear to read, easy to charge, and to look nice.

I want an addition to my mobile. Not a replacement, and not some prettified overpriced pedometer.

The Gear Fit literally does all of this.
post #26 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post
 

Nike isn't ceding the market to Apple because Apple has no wearable devices as of yet.  Nike is ceding it to Android/Samsung/Motorola.  Nike wouldn't stand a chance against Google's Destroyer OS or Samsung's Tizen.  By the time Apple gets into the wearables market, they'll be lucky to grab 5% of that potentially lucrative market.  Samsung already dominates the entire smartwatch market with Galaxy Gear and Motorola's 360 might get lucky and snatch the rest.  Apple is well behind the eight ball to begin with and it's a given they'll never have much in terms of market share.  Apple usually needs to get first mover advantage before Android eventually takes all market share away from the company.  Apple starting in a market that Android already controls is practically suicide.  Nike is smart to give up because they would have no chance of being profitable after the wearable's price war starts among the mega-rich tech companies.  Any market Samsung wants, they just take it and make it look easy.

 

LOL.  Is that you, Steve Ballmer?

post #27 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tulkas View Post

I guess if Samsung is serious about the fitness wearables market, a bunch of experienced people just became available.

What if Apple bought all of Nike's wearable products IP?...or what if they bought Nike? BOOM!
Edited by SpamSandwich - 4/18/14 at 9:33pm

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GOA

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post #28 of 92

Depends on what Nike's wearable products IP is worth.

 

Entirely possible that it's not worth a lot. At this point, Nike's behavior does not indicate high valuation. They shut the division down rather than selling it to someone else.

post #29 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SirLance99 View Post

The Gear Fit literally does all of this.

Samsung (and others) finally moved in a more reasonable direction this year with the "smartwatch" market by not trying to recreate features found in a smartphone but so far all are still lacking in duration of use between charges, simplicity of design, and ease of use with included and synced features. IOW, to paraphrase Jobs, "the current crop of [wearables] are going to be DOA, dead on arrival."

"The real haunted empire?  It's the New York Times." ~SockRolid

"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #30 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleSauce007 View Post

I think Nike is ceding the market to Apple.
No it is more of a market nobody wants. I actually doubt that Apple will have a lot of success here. Now I could be wrong but the so called iWatch would have to be substantially different than what has been on the market so far. I just don't think that there are that many obsessives on the planet to make a watch worthwhile and in a way I actually hope that there aren't enough. The last thing this world needs is more self obsessed individuals.
Quote:
Perhaps they will co-brand a version of the iWatch with Apple.
The Nike products are cool.  Perhaps Apple can hire some of the Nike people.
The vast majority of Nike's products are junk!! The last pair of sneakers I purchased haven't lasted nearly as long as they should have and they squeaked terribly. I only bought them because the store actually had sneakers in my size, normally I buy New Balance.
Quote:
Time will tell.

That is for sure. Im just wondering how much time has to pass this year before Apple releases any new products.
post #31 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

Depends on what Nike's wearable products IP is worth.

Entirely possible that it's not worth a lot. At this point, Nike's behavior does not indicate high valuation. They shut the division down rather than selling it to someone else.

I think @ascii makes a great point about at least staying in the wearable game with R&D. This is an area that is only going to grow, and few companies have experience with shoes, clothing and electronics. Nike seems pretty poised to be the top contender for a large variety of connected and/or intelligent wearables… whatever they may be.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #32 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

No it is more of a market nobody wants. I actually doubt that Apple will have a lot of success here. Now I could be wrong...

I have a feeling you're very wrong. I think wearables are going to be an exceptionally large and profitable market.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #33 of 92
The problem is that tech nerds, bloggers, and Wallstreet, think that Smartwatches and "wearables" are going to be the next huge multi-billion dollar market, overnight.

Think of all the smartphone buyers who get an iPhone, android phone, or windows phone for $0-100 on contract.
Think of the same type of people buying a prepaid smartphone for $50-150 and no contract and smaller monthly fees.

These two groups represent the majority of the current smartphone market sales. These people don't value or cannot afford to spend $200-300 on Smartwatches. The market for Smartwatches is very small, that's one reason Samsung doesn't feel the need to support other devices besides there own. Besides brand reinforcement, Samsung knows how small the market really is.

The only people in the target market is iPhone, HTC one, high-end Samsung, and Google Nexus users. At least for the next 3 years till cost come down.

All the hype about Smartwatches is overblown if you look at the real numbers.

Target market is 20% or less of the 1 billion smartphones sold in 2013. Then the real market is much smaller than that.

I'd be surprised if Smartwatches hits 10 million in 2014 if Apple doesn't release a product.

Be realistic people.
Edited by Spacepower - 4/18/14 at 10:02pm
post #34 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I think wearables are going to be an exceptionally large and profitable market.

I have a feeling that wearables will be a profitable market for one or two vendors, a break-even market for a few more, and a loss for a bunch of other companies.

post #35 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by Spacepower View Post

Test

You test positive. You now have iAIDS.
Edited by SolipsismX - 4/18/14 at 9:57pm

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post #36 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by mpantone View Post

I have a feeling that wearables will be a profitable market for one or two vendors, a break-even market for a few more, and a loss for a bunch of other companies.

Possibly but my guess is the technology that created the massive textile industry in the first place will diversity greatly because fashion is so diverse and finicky. First we'll see the wrist-worn device, then the face-worn devices, then shoes, and eventually other parts of our attire get connected in some way.

It looks like we might see Marty McFly's power-lacing Nikes in 2015.

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"There is no rule that says the best phones must have the largest screen." ~RoundaboutNow

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post #37 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

Samsung (and others) finally moved in a more reasonable direction this year with the "smartwatch" market by not trying to recreate features found in a smartphone but so far all are still lacking in duration of use between charges, simplicity of design, and ease of use with included and synced features. IOW, to paraphrase Jobs, "the current crop of [wearables] are going to be DOA, dead on arrival."

DOA is right, fact is nobody wants this crap which is why Nike is jumping ship. Apple will need to ship something more useful and desirable if it is expected to have any success.
post #38 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post


Possibly but my guess is the technology that created the massive textile industry in the first place will diversity greatly because fashion is so diverse and finicky. First we'll see the wrist-worn device, then the face-worn devices, then shoes, and eventually other parts of our attire get connected in some way.

It looks like we might see Marty McFly's power-lacing Nikes in 2015.

Wearable technology has nothing to do with textiles at this point. It's a piece of technology that just happens to be associated with an article of clothing. You can take a Nike sensor, put in a plastic bag and tie it to the top of your non-Nike running shoe and it basically functions identically as if you had put the device in the special Nike shoe.

 

Hell, I can pin my iPhone 5s to a twenty year old jacket. That doesn't make is a "smart jacket". It's just a jacket with a smartphone.

post #39 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I have a feeling you're very wrong. I think wearables are going to be an exceptionally large and profitable market.

Could be! If Apple does have success it will likely be something significantly different that is Now on the market.
post #40 of 92
Quote:
Originally Posted by SolipsismX View Post

I have a feeling you're very wrong. I think wearables are going to be an exceptionally large and profitable market.

Could be! If Apple does have success it will likely be something significantly different that is Now on the market.
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