After a rough third quarter, Under Armour has made it known that it is giving up on its UA Healthbox offering and all three of the connected devices that make it up. The company will continue to make some hardware in the form of connected apparel, and will continue to support its connected fitness apps, as well as recently-announced software offerings for Samsung Gear smartwatches.
"Our first shoe using HOVR [Under Armour's new cushioning system] also features our next generation embedded connected sensor that tracks distance, cadence, pace, and shoe life," Patrik Frisk, who joined the company earlier this year in the role of president and chief operating officer, said on Under Armour's third quarter call. "This ties into our overall Connected Fitness strategy of connecting runners to our global community through our running apps. The HOVR launch demonstrates the first true manifestation of digital meeting physical, providing runners with advantages that make them better, smarter, and capable of more than they ever knew possible."
Under Armour mentioned Connected Fitness a few times on the call, but didn't mention the cessation of its hardware devices, which was originally reported by the Wall Street Journal. MobiHealthNews has learned that HealthBox and its component devices will be sold through the end of the year, and then Under Armour will stop supporting the product suite. The products are currently heavily discounted on Under Armour's website.
The HealthBox, which was only unveiled less than two years ago in January 2016, is a package consisting of three devices. UA Band is a wristworn activity tracker designed for athletes, UA Heart Rate is a chest strap heart monitor for measuring workout intensity and estimating calories burned, and UA Scale is a WiFi weight scale that also measures body fat percentage.
In its first quarter of availability, CEO Kevin Plank said that HealthBox was one of the company's best selling products. But the company hasn't mentioned it on their more recent calls. The partnership with Samsung was announced this past January, and seems to be the company's new focus when it comes to wrist-worn trackers. Under Armour developed versions of all four of its fitness apps (MyFitnessPal, MapMyFitness, Endomondo, and UA Record) for the Samsung Gear Fit2, Gear S2, and Gear S3.
“We’re excited to work with one of the most recognized brands in the world to continue to bring value to our global digital community of more than 190 million users," Under Armour Chief Digital Officer Mike Lee said in a statement at the time. "Samsung is renowned for its innovative, stylish yet practical devices. This new collaboration will provide additional opportunities to further integrate personal nutrition and activity tracking technologies, allowing all athletes to meet their goals and perform their best.”
The company has continued to grow its user base among its apps (which were originally acquired during a major push in 2013 and 2015) and will continue to support them. Under Armour uses data from the apps to learn about consumers and drive sales.
"Our Connected Fitness strategy stretches beyond connected shoes with an ecosystem of nutrition, sleep, activity, and fitness," Frisk said on the latest call. "With more than 220 million registered users and growing, we continue to lead in digital health and fitness from athlete performance to athlete recovery, driving brand awareness and ultimately selling more shirts and shoes."