Jawbone, once rivaling Fitbit for the top spot in the fitness wearable market, has begun liquidation proceedings after years of lackluster product launches and job cuts.
Hosain Rahman, the CEO and co-founder of Jawbone, has already established a new startup, Jawbone Health Hub, which will work on connected products for the health industry, says The Information.
Most employees still with the company have already moved over to the new startup, although the exact number of employees is not yet known.
Rumors of a new health product started to spread earlier this year, around the same time Jawbone stopped updating its Bluetooth speakers and wearables. The move to health comes as Fitbit and Apple are both planning to add more health services to their wearables devices.
New startup won’t be consumer-focused
The new startup is expected to be far less consumer-focused than Jawbone, selling products directly to hospitals and doctors. The company has not said what products it intends to launch, with Rahman remaining silent on hardware and software plans.
Jawbone started in 1999 as an audio company called AliphCom, originally building “military grade audio devices”. The company’s early success with well designed Bluetooth headsets and speakers led them to double down on the wearable market, which turned out to be a major misstep.
In the past few years, Jawbone has lost its shine, with faulty products, slow service updates, and crappy customer support. It also entered into a legal battle with rival Fitbit, both claiming that the other stole confidential information. Fitbit ended the legal case in December 2016, and supposedly tried to purchase the faltering company a few days after.