Report: Apple Store to sell some Jawbone wristworn fitness devices again

By Aditi Pai
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Jawbone UP2 Jawbone UP2

Just three months after Apple pulled a number of wristworn fitness tracking devices from its stores, including Jawbone UP24 and Nike FuelBand SE, Jawbone Senior Product Manager Jason Donahue revealed that the company's devices would return to the Apple Store in the coming months during a presentation he gave in Japan, according to local reports in that country, and as explained in a report from Apple Insider.

Donahue said Japanese Apple Stores would start selling the Jawbone UP2, which launched in April, this coming July, but the Up2 would hit US-based stores even sooner. After adding Jawbone's UP2 band, Apple stores will also start selling Jawbone UP3, Donahue added.

Apple first started pulling devices in November 2014, when the company dropped Fitbit from its online store. This move came on the heels of Apple's announcement of the Apple Watch, which offers activity tracking features and Fitbit’s decision not to integrate with Apple’s HealthKit. Fitbit said at the time that it found the technology interesting but it didn’t yet see the value in integration for its customers. 

Given the return of a wristworn fitness tracker, it's not out of the question that similar devices from other companies could make a comeback too.

The only activity tracking device that was still available in Apple’s online store after the company pulled wristworn wearables was Jawbone’s low-cost, clip-on tracker. Other health tracking devices (that are not fitness tracking, wristworn devices) that were never taken out included Polar and Wahoo heart rate monitors; iHealth’s blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter device; Withings’ weight scale, sleep tracking system, and blood pressure monitor; and several sport-specific tracking devices.

Jawbone's wristworn devices' return to the Apple Store is some much-needed good news for the company, which has had a rocky start to the year.

Just a few weeks after one of Jawbone's main competitors, Fitbit, filed for an IPO, Jawbone sued Fitbit. Jawbone's suit alleges that Fitbit poached employees who downloaded sensitive data about Jawbone before leaving the company.

And, although Jawbone finally announced that they would start shipping the much-delayed UP3 device last month, it couldn’t get the waterproofing right, so the device won’t be for use by swimmers as originally intended.