Nike FuelBand  (Source: Nike)
Nike shifts focus from fitness hardware and will develop software and apps, relying on partners for hardware innovation.

Nike is expected to withdraw from the fitness wearable device market, at least for now, with Nike laying off most of the team involved.  It looks like up to 55 people of the 70-person FuelBand hardware team have been laid off, while the company moves forward.

“As a fast-paced, global business we continually align resources with business priorities,” a Nike spokesperson recently told CNET.  “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.”

The employees are expected to stay on through May, according to sources within Nike. 

Due to the layoffs, it’s unlikely a FuelBand SE fitness tracker follow-up will be released, despite being expected later this year.  The company will also continue to sell the Nike+ FuelBand SE, with Nike officials saying it remains an important goal. 

However, the Nike+ FuelBand App will still be supported moving forward, according to reports, as the company wants to remain committed to active customers.  Instead of focusing on hardware, the transition will let Nike work on software and app support, which will remain an important goal to offer product line breadth for consumers.

Casual fitness wearables continue to be a budding market, with an increased number of competitors, as collected data can be easily shared to social media websites – and paired with smartphones or tablet devices.  

Source: CNET

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