IP & Copyright
Jawbone vs. Fitbit: Mutiny on the Cyber Seas
What is the hottest “it” accessory? Coach wristlets? Plastic choker necklaces? Michael Kors watches? Nope—fitness trackers are the newest arm-candy craze. The wearable devices have slid into mainstream usage. Bottom line—they’re not just for health nuts anymore.
Around 2.7 million fitness trackers were shipped worldwide during the first quarter of 2014, about 50 percent of which were Fitbit devices. Fitbit is the brand name of sorts for wearable trackers in the same way the name Kleenex is synonymous with tissues.
Fitbit has been riding out its successful wave; this month the company even filed to offer public stock options. However, that wave is about to crash. One of Fitbit’s competitors, a company called Jawbone, is suing Fitbit for “plundering” confidential information. (Argh, matey, there be pirates afoot.)
How did Fitbit allegedly steal information? By employing Jawbone employees who were, ahem, not exactly loyal to their anatomically named former employer.
Mutiny on the cyber seas?
Jawbone’s lawsuit has two parts. Firstly, it wants financial compensation from Fitbit. Secondly, it wants the court’s assistance to prevent former employees from using any information they may have taken/gained while at Jawbone.
While Jawbone and Fitbit are fighting in open water, Apple is keeping watch on dry land…literally. There is a very real possibility that Fitbit’s profits will be significantly less than anticipated due to the fitness capabilities of the Apple Watch. Factor brand loyalty into the mix, and Apple becomes Jawbone and Fitbit’s most formidable competitor.