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

Posted:
in General Discussion edited April 2014
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."
«1345

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 92
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,741member
    I guess if Samsung is serious about the fitness wearables market, a bunch of experienced people just became available.
  • Reply 2 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.
  • Reply 3 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.

  • Reply 4 of 92
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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?

    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.
  • Reply 5 of 92
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 6 of 92
    Isn't nike CEO on Apple Board??
  • Reply 7 of 92
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    supdizzle wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 8 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.

  • Reply 9 of 92
    solipsismx wrote: »
    edit: And no one on Nike's board appears to work for Apple.

    What about Tim Cook?
  • Reply 10 of 92
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 92
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member

    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.

  • Reply 12 of 92
    solipsismxsolipsismx Posts: 19,566member
    What about Tim Cook?

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

    That does give some credence to the hypothesis that Nike is getting out knowing that Apple is ready to dominate this market.
  • Reply 13 of 92
    jaaycojaayco Posts: 46member
    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...
  • Reply 14 of 92
    rogifanrogifan Posts: 10,669member
    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.
  • Reply 15 of 92

    m

  • Reply 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. image



    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

  • Reply 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.
  • Reply 18 of 92
    tulkastulkas Posts: 3,741member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 92
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    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?
  • Reply 20 of 92
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    They probably know something. iWatch announcement at WWDC?
Sign In or Register to comment.