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Jawbone CEO: We don't think of ourselves as a hardware company anymore

Jawbone CEO: We don't think of ourselves as a hardware company anymore


Which isn't altogether surprising

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Photo by Asa Mathat for Recode

Jawbone is best known as a maker of Bluetooth headsets, speakers and Up activity-trackers. But don't call it a hardware company.

That's according to Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman, who was interviewed by Recode's Kara Swisher earlier today at the Code Mobile conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif.

"We don't think of ourselves as a hardware company anymore," Rahman said. "We have more software engineers and data scientists... I think the way we see hardware now is a way to show people what's possible with the technology." He cited the company's first real product — noise canceling technology — as an example of fine-turned software that was backed up by hardware.

Jawbone has said for awhile now that it has been intently focused on offering value through its software, by incorporating more insights into its Up health-and-fitness app. And last June, Jawbone opened up its fitness-tracking platform to third-party device makers, with Chinese device-maker Huawei as its first hardware partner. As The Verge's Dan Seifert wrote at the time, by partnering with other hardware makers Jawbone is able to offload the work of making hardware and focus even more on its "platform."

'Apple Watch hasn't caused any dent in sales'

Rahman also said that the company plans to launch a version of the Up app for Apple Watch, and that Apple Watch hasn't caused "any dent in sales."

It's a good move for a company that has had its share of ups and downs (no pun intended) over the past few years, starting with the faulty original Up wristband, right up to the Up3, which was delayed and then received poor reviews when it shipped. And Jawbone has not released a new Bluetooth speaker since 2013.

Later, when someone in the audience asked about Jawbone's data releases around events such as the Napa earthquake last August, Rahman said, "We're a huge data company." He said that Jawbone has amassed over 300 million nights of sleep data, and that the company is running the "worlds largest sleep study" every night.