Nike reportedly retiring FuelBand, training eyes on fitness software

Nike FuelBand
Ran out of time

Update: Nike has come out to say that while it's conducted a "small number" of layoffs, it's still committed to selling existing wearable products and developing its accompanying app ecosystem.

It would appear the FuelBand is here to stay, but Nike failed to mention whether it would produce any new wearables from here on out.

Original article below...

Nike's fitness trackers have seemingly run out of gas.

Word from a CNET source is that Nike is knocking out its wearable hardware business, having laid off the majority of the staff responsible for the FuelBand.

The group was part of the company's larger 200-person Digital Sport division, which works on software interface design, among other things.

Not only is the FuelBand disappearing from the podium, Nike is reportedly throwing in the towel on any planned future wearables. The company is said to have had another FuelBand waiting in the wings for release as early as this fall, but the project was nixed.

A Nike spokesman confirmed a "small number of layoffs" will take place as "our Digital Sport priorities evolve," but wouldn't comment on "individual employment matters."

Software contender

While Nike may be retiring the FuelBand, it's not done with wearables by a long shot.

Instead of building hardware, the sports behemoth will reportedly turn its trainers on developing and growing its fitness and sports software offerings.

Nike+ and NikeFuel, the company's app and fitness-tracking measurement system, should help it find a niche in a growing wearable market. Nike can focus on selling swoosh-embroided sportswear and building better software as Samsung, LG, Sony, Pebble, Fitbit and others duke it out over devices you can strap to your wrist.

Google already announced its Android Wear OS for wearables, which will be adopted by hardware makers including, very likely, itself.

It's widely expected the Apple iWatch will team up in some way with Nike as well. Apple CEO Tim Cook is a Nike board member, and a number of Apple honchos, Cook included, are known to rock a FuelBand.

Nike's latest maneuver, if true, appears to be less about throwing in the towel and more rethinking how it plans to compete. Seems smart to us.