Jawbone UP3 deliveries to finally begin, but there’s more bad news

Following a four month delay, Jawbone has announced its UP3 fitness wristband is almost ready to ship to customers.

The third-generation UP tracker was supposed to arrive in time for Christmas, but manufacturing problems caused a damaging hold up at a crucial time in the wearable tech sector.

Thankfully for Jawbone and its customers, the devices have now entered mass production and shipping will begin on April 20 to those in the United States.

However, the downside is the company has not been able to resolve the manufacturing issues that caused the delay.

The firm has announced the UP3 is no longer a fully waterproof device and, like its predecessors will now only protect against splashes.

The backtrack is sure to upset those who’ve ordered the device based on the ability to use it while swimming and Jawbone has promised no-questions-asked cancellation of pre-orders.

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The waterproof capabilities were touted as one of the major UP3 upgrades, alongside the heart rate sensor and the ability of the motion sensors to track a greater range of activities.

“Our intention was to ship an advanced multi-sensor product that defied industry standards with water resistance of up to 10 meters. Unfortunately, after extensive and exhaustive testing we have been unable to guarantee 10 meters of water resistance for all UP3 units,” Travis Bogard, vice president of product management and strategy at Jawbone, wrote in a blog post on Thursday evening

“UP3 will now ship with a water resistance comparable to, and in line with, most other multi-sensor trackers. This means that UP3 is resistant to everyday splashing, including while washing hands or in the shower, but it is unsuitable for swimming or submerged use. We would like to apologize to customers who may have pre-ordered UP3 on the basis that it would be suitable for swimming. Customers who wish to cancel their pre-order will, of course, be able to do so with no charge.”

The delay couldn’t have come at a worst time for Jawbone, given the launch of powerful new trackers from the likes of Misfit and Fitbit, plus the encroachment of fitness tracking smartwatches like the Apple Watch.

Can the firm, and its scaled back Jawbone UP3 tracker recover? Let us know your thoughts below.