Nike is about shoes – making and selling millions of pairs. Little wonder that its underperforming FuelBand fitness tracker is facing the chop. It may power Apple’s iWatch fitness app instead.
According to a report from CNet it has flagged that about 55 of its 70 of its Fuel related staff will be made redundant. It will not release a new version of its band but the existing FuelBand SE will remain on sale for now. It has shelved all future physical product projects under the Digital Sport imprimatur.
Employee unrest has hit the social networks - "The douchebag execs at Nike are going to lay off a bunch of the engineering 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," one post said.
Nike’s response was that the FuelBand SE remains "an important part" of their business going forward. "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."
It has long been rumoured that Nike will use its Fuel app to provide the heath app for the anticipated Apple iWatch – Apples CEO Tim Cook being on Nike’s Board fuels this.
"Apple is in the hardware business. Nike is in the sneaker business. I do not think Apple sees Nike as competitive. It's likely that an Apple hardware offering would be supportive of the Nike software," Jim Duffy, a Nike analyst with Stifel, Nicolaus & Company, said when speaking with CNET last week. "Nike would be content to let Apple sell devices, as long as they would be supportive of the apps."
To be very clear the FuelBand is a competent product but its iPhone only app and lack of some key features on more recently released smart/fitness health bands make it nowhere near the category killer that Nike demands.
The prestigious Red Dot awards are hotly contested – this year 4815 products from 1816 companies in 53 countries were submitted. Nikon gained two awards for its cameras and one for its binoculars.
Looking like the tail pipes from the original Star Ship Enterprise, these futuristic Aculon T51 10x24 binoculars (10X zoom and 24mm objective lens) make both a fashion statement in silver or black and are great for travel, theatre, music, and sporting events. Price online – around A$350.
Nikon's Df camera also received a Red Dot Award. This 16.2MP camera has an ISO range of 50-204,800 that coupled with its EXPEED 3 image processor and 8cm, 921K dot LCD makes photography easy and intuitive. It uses standard Nikkor F mount and autofocus lenses. Price is around $3000 plus lenses.
Nikon's D5300 won the entry-level category. It is a 24.2MP, DX format, Wi-Fi equipped camera with a 3.2” LCD viewfinder. It is designed for happy snappers. It also uses Nikkor F mount and autofocus lenses. Price around $600 plus lenses.