July 10, 2017
After producing Bluetooth earpieces and wireless speakers for years, Jawbone pivoted to fitness wearables in 2011, with the debut of its UP health tracker. Then came two lawsuits in 2015, with Flextronics and Fitbit, and research that reported the company had captured only 2.8 percent of the fitness wearables market. So it should come as no surprise that Jawbone has entered into liquidation proceedings, and co-founder/chief executive Hosain Rahman is no longer with the company, having left for a new venture named Jawbone Health Hub.
The Verge “independently verified” the news first reported by The Information; a Jawbone spokesperson “declined to comment.” Rahman has become acting chief executive of Jawbone Health Hub, a company “that will primarily focus on health-related products and services,” and “many Jawbone employees” followed him there.
According to The Information, the new company will “service existing Jawbone products once the original company folds.”
In addition to legal battles with Fitbit over trade secrets and patent infringement claims, Jawbone suffered “more than a year of financial turmoil at the company, which led to deteriorating customer service, dwindling inventory, and key executive departures.”
Little information is available about Jawbone Health Hub, but Glassdoor has posted job availabilities, and, “last year, The Verge reported that the company was attempting to pivot to some type of clinical health product, with plans to sell its technology to other businesses and not directly to consumers.”
The Verge notes that Jawbone, which has “retained three different sets of lawyers since late March,” is still in “ongoing legal battles with rival Fitbit.” It also reported in January that the company stopped offering customer support via social media, to the dismay of many longtime customers. Over the years, the company has raised “more than $900 million from a series of high-profile investors, and has listed some of tech’s top names as its board members,” but, “even that, it seems, couldn’t salvage a dying hardware company.”