Nike Halts FuelBand Development, Staff Got Fired.
After only recently announcing its new Nike+ Fuel Lab initiative earlier within this month, Nike has stated to have dismissed a large amount of its employees from FuelBand’s hardware team.
CNET had gotten there hands on this recent development including a quote from Brian Strong, Nike’s spokesperson, who in an email he commented:
”As a fast-paced, global business we continually align resources with business priorities. 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.”
It’s been reported that out of Nike Fuelband’s 70 individual hardware team, around 55 of them were let go by the firm. Although its currently not clear as to how many employees have been internally recruited in other Nike division an dhow many were let go by the company.
Sources had also included that the next version of the FuelBand, which has been said to be much slimmer in design and expected to come out sometime this fall, has also been shelved. The firm however confirms that these recent actions will not influence the Nike+ FuelBand SE, which has currently on sale. in any form.
“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,” added Strong.
One interesting thing about this particular news, was the that it was already beginning to circulate within Secret, an anonymous networking website where tech insiders tend to regularly post gossip.
”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,” read the post, which now has been taken down.
The timing behind this development is quite eerie, since this also comes during the same time when other brands are launching their own wearables and health-tracking devices. HTC has confirmed its interest when it came to wearable devices, Samsung has also recently announced its Gear Fit and other wearables. Apple has been widely expected to come out with its first ever wearable, which has been given the name iWatch, sometime this year.
Another thing worth pointing out is that Apple own CEO Tim Cook has a seat on Nike’s board of directors and has been seen sporting a Nike FuelBand in public. Some may have linked this latest development and iWatch rumors to indicate the company may have a much more closer relationship the thought before.
“Apple is in the hardware business. Nike is in the sneaker business. I don’t think Apple sees Nike as competitive. It’s likely that an Apple hardware offering would be supportive of the Nike software,” Jim Duffy, a Nike analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, told CNET. “Nike would be content to let Apple sell devices, as long as they would be supportive of the apps.”
“Partnering with industry-leading tech companies is nothing new for Nike,” Strong is quoted as saying in the report. “We have been working with Apple to develop products since 2006, when we introduced Nike+ Running, and Nike has since created iOS Apps including Nike+ Training Club, Nike+ FuelBand and Nike+ Move.”