It seems that Jawbone is sticking around after all. A person close to the company got in touch with us earlier today simply to say “Jawbone is not actively seeking to sell the company.” Nothing more was added.
Jawbone has been in the news quite a bit over the past few months. But not for the right reasons.
The latest round of rumours originated from an article in The Information. Apparently an insider with knowledge of the company’s plans disclosed to them that top executives have approached at least one hardware manufacturer in recent months about a possible sale of the business.
This is not the only sign the company’s wearables business may not be in great shape. While they did a pretty good job with their UP product line, it seems amidst increased competition from the Apple Watch and other wearables manufacturers, the company is struggling to maintain a meaningful presence in the market. They continue to be overshadowed by Fitbit and have watched their market share drop in recent years.
The rumour follows reported financial troubles for the San Francisco company. Despite the almost $900 million raised since 1999, Jawbone apparently told one of its business partners it couldn’t make an August payment deadline. The investment firm BlackRock, one of Jawbone’s major lenders, recently raised the likelihood of Jawbone being sold from 50% to 75%.
If matters weren’t complicated enough, Jawbone is also embroiled in a number of lawsuits with Fitbit. One of these is a patent infringement case in which Fitbit scored a victory a few weeks ago when the judge invalidated Jawbone’s claim. There is also the claim that Fitbit stole important trade secrets. The company has allegedly poached Jawbone employees, who brought with them confidential information on things such as product design. The verdict regarding the trade secret theft has yet to be decided in court.
Today is not the first time Jawbone denied rumours it is about to discontinue its wearables business.
Earlier this year, the company headed off speculation it was about to discontinue its UP product line, by calling the press reports “unequivocally false.” Additionally, Jawbone’s CEO Hosain Rahman told Tech Insider that Jawbone had ambitions to develop a “clinical-grade” fitness tracker. This may still happen. Apparently it is a clinical grade health tracker related to heart monitoring.
We have followed up with our source and will update this article if anything more is revealed about Jawbone’s future plans.
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