One by one, it looks like San Francisco-based wearable tech mammoth Fitbit wants to take out past, present and possible future competitors, starting with smartwatch pioneer Pebble, followed by rising affordable luxury star Vector Watch, and even faltering bitter rival Jawbone.
But despite deep financial trouble leading to layoffs, production halts for devices last refreshed back in spring of 2015, as well as delays in payments to both creditors and customer service providers, fitness band and wireless speaker specialist Jawbone hasn’t hit rock bottom yet.
Instead of selling out to the enemy for a “tiny fraction” of its $1.5 billion valuation from just a year ago, the 1999-founded American company held out, seeking alternative bidders first, and then a new investor.
Surprisingly, said investor may have entered the picture at the eleventh hour, prospectively enabling the consumer technology outfit to “remain viable as an independent entity.” Still, the odds of seeing a Jawbone Up5 product of sorts widely released to the public anytime soon are slim, to say the least, with the focus reportedly shifted from “lifestyle” gadgets to professional health-monitoring wearables.
If the Federal Drug Administration will allow it, Jawbone aims to start selling such clinical medical devices “through the US healthcare system.” A decidedly ambitious goal in a different direction, which Apple has also been long rumored to have in mind, and that might make it hard for Fitbit to continue suing on patent infringement allegations.