Jawbone Going Out of Business as CEO Moves on to New ‘Jawbone Health Hub’ Startup

In May of last year, speaker and fitness tracker company Jawbone ended production of its fitness trackers and started seeking a buyer for its speaker business, leading to speculation that the company was going out of business.

Jawbone denied claims that it was shutting down and planned to pivot to medical products for direct sale to clinical practitioners, but that may not have panned out, as The Information reports that the business is officially shutting down.


Jawbone has reportedly started liquidation proceedings and notices have been sent out to its creditors.

Jawbone co-founder and CEO Hosain Rahman has moved on to a new company called Jawbone Health Hub that is designed to make "health-related hardware and software services." Many existing Jawbone employees have already transitioned to the new company.

Jawbone Health will reportedly service existing Jawbone products, which may allow existing Jawbone customers to get help with their devices. Jawbone has been ignoring customer service requests for several months, making customers unhappy. Starting in January, Jawbone customers were unable to contact Jawbone support and did not receive responses to service requests for faulty products.

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Fitbit Again Accused of Stealing Trade Secrets From Jawbone

Even though Jawbone has confirmed that it's leaving the consumer wearables market to focus on clinical health products, the company has doubled down on its legal battle with former rival Fitbit, concerning the latter company's alleged theft of trade secrets (via TechCrunch).

The U.S. International Trade Commission has already let Fitbit off the hook for the original claims, but Jawbone is now arguing that the agency only looked at a "limited number of allegations against Fitbit." To back up its argument that the issue remains unresolved, Jawbone referenced in a court filing this month that Fitbit is under investigation by a criminal grand jury concerning the trade secret theft, believing "the issue of what was stolen and by whom remains unresolved."


As of this week, the Justice Department and Department of Homeland Security have been conducting a grand jury probe into Fitbit for five months. Fitbit said that it's cooperating with the investigation "to demonstrate, once again, that these allegations are without merit," with a hearing set for February 15 amid the hopes that the case will finally be dismissed.

The battle between the two companies goes back to 2015, when Jawbone claimed that Fitbit hired five Jawbone employees, who in turn brought with them more than 350,000 secret Jawbone files. According to the original lawsuit, Jawbone said "the files included information about materials, sensors and detailed breakdowns of its costs and profit margins."

Fitbit said that once the files were discovered on a cloud-based backup service of a former Jawbone employee, they were immediately turned over to Jawbone. Ultimately, Fitbit argued that Jawbone's new investigation is built on the exact same "fictional allegations" already cleared by the ITC.
The criminal investigation “is based on the almost identical fictional allegations that were fully rejected by the International Trade Commission after a nine-day trial on the merits and that Jawbone falsely asserted on the eve of Fitbit’s IPO,” Fitbit said in Monday’s statement. “Jawbone is now attempting to exert leverage against Fitbit in civil litigation pending in the California state court.”
Fitbit had a case against Jawbone of its own that it dropped last December because "there was no need to pursue the case" when Jawbone was no longer making and selling the products at issue in the lawsuit. Fitbit also cited Jawbone's financial trouble as a reason to end the lengthy court battle. Jawbone said Fitbit's decision to back out was a "misdirection" on Fitbit's part.

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Jawbone Pulls Out of Consumer Wearables Market to Focus on Clinical Health Products

Jawbone is officially exiting the consumer wearables market to focus on developing medical products for direct sale to clinical practitioners, according to a new report.

Speaking to TechCrunch on Friday, sources familiar with the matter said Jawbone's latest pivot away from its fitness tracker and Bluetooth speaker business involved working on a health product for the medical sector, including offering services for clinicians who work with patients.

According to the report, Jawbone is seeking to raise foreign investor money as part of the revised strategy, after spending around $951 million in an attempt to prevent a collapse of its consumer wearables business.


One source told TechCrunch the consumer market had proved "too challenging" for small and mid-size technology companies, but that the burgeoning health wearables sector – currently led by companies like Omada and Forward – offered Jawbone a possible escape route out of its financial troubles.
"If you think about what a good consumer electronics company looks like, it's 30-percent margins, annual release cycles and huge risk. It's turned into a blockbuster game," said the source. "But folks in this other area, like Omada and other services, they have a human involved but with a nearly 100-percent contribution margin. It's wildly different economics. Every wearable company today will be posed with this question: Do I want to play in consumer and narrow margins, or healthcare and service and make incredible margins but with possibly a lot of upfront fixed cost."
Reports of Jawbone's troubles go back to May 2015, when the company ended production of its UP line of fitness trackers and sold its remaining inventory to a third-party reseller at a discounted price.

Initially, Jawbone denied claims that it was going out of business and said it was focusing on advanced sensors to sell to other wearable makers, but over recent months a slew of angry customers frustrated by a lack of support have painted a more desperate picture.

Just last month both the head executive of product and the chief financial officer left the company, while MacRumors was contacted by former staff who said that Jawbone had let go of all employees at its four contact centers in Northern Ireland and across the U.S., leaving no-one to deal with customer complaints.

Jawbone still believes there is value in its business, but with a one-star customer rating on review aggregator website Trustpilot.com and an "F" rating on Better Business Bureau's site, the company clearly faces a challenge in its bid to secure more funding, wherever its future lies.

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Jawbone Pulls Out of Consumer Wearables Market to Focus on Clinical Health Products

Jawbone is officially exiting the consumer wearables market to focus on developing medical products for direct sale to clinical practitioners, according to a new report.

Speaking to TechCrunch on Friday, sources familiar with the matter said Jawbone's latest pivot away from its fitness tracker and Bluetooth speaker business involved working on a health product for the medical sector, including offering services for clinicians who work with patients.

According to the report, Jawbone is seeking to raise foreign investor money as part of the revised strategy, after spending around $951 million in an attempt to prevent a collapse of its consumer wearables business.


One source told TechCrunch the consumer market had proved "too challenging" for small and mid-size technology companies, but that the burgeoning health wearables sector – currently led by companies like Omada and Forward – offered Jawbone a possible escape route out of its financial troubles.
"If you think about what a good consumer electronics company looks like, it's 30-percent margins, annual release cycles and huge risk. It's turned into a blockbuster game," said the source. "But folks in this other area, like Omada and other services, they have a human involved but with a nearly 100-percent contribution margin. It's wildly different economics. Every wearable company today will be posed with this question: Do I want to play in consumer and narrow margins, or healthcare and service and make incredible margins but with possibly a lot of upfront fixed cost."
Reports of Jawbone's troubles go back to May 2015, when the company ended production of its UP line of fitness trackers and sold its remaining inventory to a third-party reseller at a discounted price.

Initially, Jawbone denied claims that it was going out of business and said it was focusing on advanced sensors to sell to other wearable makers, but over recent months a slew of angry customers frustrated by a lack of support have painted a more desperate picture.

Just last month both the head executive of product and the chief financial officer left the company, while MacRumors was contacted by former staff who said that Jawbone had let go of all employees at its four contact centers in Northern Ireland and across the U.S., leaving no-one to deal with customer complaints.

Jawbone still believes there is value in its business, but with a one-star customer rating on review aggregator website Trustpilot.com and an "F" rating on Better Business Bureau's site, the company faces a challenge if it is to win the confidence of additional investors, wherever its future lies.

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Jawbone Leaves Users in the Lurch as Customer Support Goes Silent

Owners of Jawbone products have been met with a wall of silence from the speaker and activity tracker company's customer support, it was reported on Wednesday.

Customers told The Verge they had contacted Jawbone in recent months or weeks about faulty products and had not received any response, while calls to the company's support number are continually met with automated messages about busy lines.

jawbone support
The company's support Twitter account hasn't tweeted since December 21, 2016, and the Jawbone Facebook page does not respond to comments left by frustrated customers, with many of the comments apparently hidden from public view. Meanwhile, review aggregator website Trustpilot.com currently gives Jawbone an average one-star rating.

Jawbone did not respond to requests for comments regarding its lack of customer support, despite the fact that the company's products are still available to buy through Amazon, if not Jawbone's own website.

Reports that the company has been struggling to stay afloat date back to May of last year, when it ended production of its UP line of fitness trackers and sold its remaining inventory to a third-party reseller at a discounted price.

At the time, Jawbone denied claims that it was going out of business and said it was focusing on advanced sensors to sell to other wearable makers, but recently both the head executive of product and the chief financial officer left the company.

According to a report in the Financial Times, Fitbit attempted to buy Jawbone last year, but it only offered a fraction of the $1.5 billion valuation the company had at the beginning of 2016. Jawbone and Fitbit have also been involved in a series of lawsuits over patents and trade secrets over the last year.

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