Report: Nike may kill the FuelBand, fires most of the hardware team

Nike+ FuelBand SE

Detailed within a report on CNET, it’s possible that Nike could eventually halt all future hardware production on the FuelBand fitness tracker since the company just laid off nearly 80 percent of the team that was responsible for developing and revising the hardware. In addition to the FuelBand, the Digital Sport hardware team at Nike was also responsible for the Nike+ sportwatch and other tech-related products. The team was involved in the software design process as well as hardware engineering, industrial design and manufacturing. 

News about the layoff originally broke on Secret, a social network that allows people to post anonymous messages. Likely posted from someone on the team in order to speak anonymously about the executives in charge of the layoff, the message read “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.

According to a source within Nike, some of the employees will be staying with the company through May and others will be placed on various teams within the company. The employees on the Digital Sport hardware team are split between two different locations, thus could require relocation. Thirty employees work at the Hong Kong office and the other employees on the team work at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. 

Releasing a statement about the shift in direction, Nike public relations spokesperson Brian Strong said “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.”

FuelBand SE Colors

Speaking about the FuelBand line of products, Strong continued “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.” Of course, this could simply mean that the remaining stock will be sold and Nike won’t be pursuing hardware improvements to track other metrics related to fitness. 

It’s likely that Nike will shift focus to developing more fitness software applications that will be able to run on smartphones and smartwatches. It’s also possible that Nike will broaden it’s ongoing partnership with Apple in order to offer a software solution for future Apple products, potentially the long-rumored Apple iWatch.

A reason for the shift away from hardware development could be limited sales of the FuelBand. The fitness device market has been getting more crowded over the last year. Beyond major brands like Fitbit and Samsung, a number of crowdfunded projects are promising to develop much more advanced fitness trackers. For instance, the Atlas on Indiegogo supposedly evaluates exercises, tracks form and estimates calories burned based on your performance. Another example would be the FlyFit on Kickstarter, a fitness band that wraps around the leg to track leg strokes when swimming, pedal turns when cycling or steps when running.

Mobile

The Asus ROG Phone 2 may launch as the most powerful phone in the world

Asus will launch the ROG Phone 2 (that stands for Republic of Gamers, for those new to the company's gaming brand) on July 23, and rumors of its specification and more have been leaking for a while.
Deals

Boost Mobile takes on Amazon with Apple iPhone deals during Prime Day 2019

Boost Mobile's two-day sale has discounts on both Android and Apple smartphones, and we rounded up the best iPhone deals right here. You'll have to act fast, though, as this online sales event lasts for Monday and Tuesday only.
Deals

The powerful Razer Phone 2 costs just $400 thanks to Amazon Prime Day 2019

The Razer Phone 2, a follow-up to the original Razer Phone, has a ton going for it, including a Qualcomm Snapdragon 845 processor and a 120Hz screen refresh rate. For Prime Day 2019, the phone is available for a massive 50 percent off.
Mobile

Miss physical keyboards? Unihertz is creating a rugged phone that has one

Recently, only BlackBerry's phones have offered a physical keyboard. Not any more. Chinese manufacturer Unihertz is preparing to launch the Unihertz Titan -- a rugged phone with a built-in physical keyboard.
Apple

At just $169, Amazon Prime Day now has the best deal on the Apple Watch Series 3

Amazon Prime Day comes once a year, and with it, you'll find the best deals on your favorite Apple products. Right now, the Apple Watch Series 3 is just $169. Get yours while supplies last.
Deals

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 gets a 35% price cut for Prime Day

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 is currently the latest model in the Galaxy Note range that normally lists for $1,000, but this is no ordinary day. You can get the Samsung Galaxy Note 9 for just $650 with Amazon's Prime Day deal.
Mobile

Visible is giving away the iPhone 7 for $100 and Moto G7 Power for $50

Visible has announced a few awesome new deals on some great phones, including the Apple iPhone 7 and the Motorola Moto G7 Power. Both phones are available for $100 off, bringing the iPhone 7 down to $100, and the G7 Power to $50.
Mobile

Get ahead of the game with one of the best prepaid cell phone plans

By paying in advance you can make sure that you know exactly what your monthly bills are going to be. Find your ideal prepaid cell phone plan right here, as we run through the top options and highlight what they have to offer.
Deals

These eco-friendly Pela phone cases are up to 25% off for Prime Day only

If you’re looking for an eco-friendly phone case, then you owe it to the environment to check out Pela. This unique brand makes its cases from compostable bioplastic, and for Prime Day, you can take up to 25% off the entire…
Deals

Prime Day brings out the best deals on Amazon’s Kindle and Fire tablets

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is here, and it brings with it some of the best deals on all kinds of tech products. Notably, Amazon's Kindle and Fire tablet range of devices have gotten some pretty major discounts,.
Wearables

The Best Prime Day smartwatch deals: Fitbit, Samsung, and Apple Watch discounts

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is around the corner, and while there are likely to be deals on TVs, gaming consoles, and more, there will also likely be some great deals on smartwatches. Here's what we know about all the smartwatch deals.
Deals

Amazon cuts 33% off on the HP Sprocket Photo Printer for Prime Day

Amazon Prime Day sale is officially live. The HP Sprocket Plus Instant Photo Printer normally sells for $150, but Amazon cuts $50 off from its original price making it now available for a discounted price of only $100.
Deals

Best Prime Day smartwatch deals: Apple Watch, Fitbit Versa, and Samsung Galaxy

Amazon Prime Day 2019 is finally here, bringing with it a number of great smartwatch deals. Whether you're into Apple's Apple Watch, or prefer a smartwatch that has Google's Wear OS wearable operating system, there should be a something for…
Cars

Waze now tells you the cost of toll roads along your route

Navigation app Waze now tells you how much you'll be paying for toll roads, should you decide to take them. Enter your route and the app will display the various tolls you'll be paying on that particular trip.