Jawbone is trying to sell its speaker business, according to Fortune. It reportedly hopes to offload its Jambox speakers to another company because it views the speaker market as small and saturated. Going forward, it has said it's interested in focusing primarily on the health and wearables market, which it views as just opening up and potentially offering far more room for expansion. It's not stated if Jawbone is nearing a sale.
"Our future value is focused on wellness."
This is not an entirely surprising move from Jawbone. It hasn't made a new speaker since 2013's Mini Jambox, and it hasn't shown much enthusiasm about that market of late either. Last year, Jawbone co-founder Alex Asseily told Fortune that "our future value is focused on wellness," while noting that audio is "not as big a market." Selling off the speaker business, he suggested, may be a logical choice. Later that year, company CEO Hosain Rahman went so far as to say that Jawbone is no longer a hardware company.
Of course, that's not entirely true. Jawbone has and continues to make fitness trackers and Bluetooth headsets. Those have been the bigger of Jawbone's businesses, which explains why it'd want to focus in on them. But as Rahman indicated, Jawbone's future also lies in the success of its health-and-fitness platform, which is licensed out to other companies.
It's not clear how well that's going. Jawbone made significant layoffs last year, and, at least as of April, was still not profitable, according to Bloomberg. When Jawbone went to raise money earlier this year, its value was cut in half.
That all helps to illustrate the challenge Jawbone is facing. Though it's an established name on the market and known for making attractive products, it's still up against wealthy competitors like Apple and Samsung, as well as a seemingly endless crowd of cheaper alternatives. Perhaps the health and wearables market will be bigger, but it won't necessarily be any easier.