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Jawbone could stop selling wearables directly to consumers

Fitness wearable company Jawbone could be looking to refocus its business on the higher-margin B2B market by working with healthcare providers and other clinical organisations, rather than selling wearable devices directly to its users.

The move, according to unnamed sources talking to TechCrunch, would see the company withdraw from its current business model in favour of more lucrative returns by working with healthcare providers, but the insiders didn’t note exactly what the resulting products and services offered to providers would be.

We’ve asked the company for confirmation of these rumoured changes, but the shift does fit in with selling off its Jambox Bluetooth speaker assets, as was reported towards the end of 2016. Jawbone hasn’t publicly confirmed this one way the other.

While the company has focused exclusively on wearables for the last few years, and enjoyed some level of recognition, its financials were revealed to be in a poor shape last December, when rival Fitbit decided to drop a major part of its lawsuit against the company that sought to block devices from being sold in the US.

In that court withdrawal statement, Fitbit said that SEC filings show the company to be worth nothing and that it’s already “filed for bankruptcy or is in default.” Jawbone refuted that claim citing a lack of a bankruptcy petition, and is continuing on with its own antitrust case against Fitbit.

Whatever the specifics of the company’s outlook for 2017, Jawbone will clearly need to double down on its product strategy whether that’s for the clinical or consumer markets – it hasn’t released a new wearable device since April 2015, and has left a trail of unhappy customers in its wake.

For now though, it’s business as usual. We’ll update if we hear back from the company.

Related: Jawbone UP2 review

Watch: Wearables and fitness buying guide

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