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Nike lays off FuelBand team, exits wearable device market, report says

Nike has reportedly laid off most of the employees it had working on its line of FuelBand fitness devices, signaling that the sporting equipment giant is likely exiting the wearable-device market.

The Beaverton, Ore., company Thursday told as many as 55 employees of the 70-person team it had working on FuelBand devices that their jobs had been cut, according to CNET.

The report also said Nike has shelved plans for a follow-up device to its FuelBand SE fitness tracker, which is worn like a bracelet and counts the number of steps users take via a connection to their smartphones through Bluetooth.

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For now, Nike will continue to sell the FuelBand SE, and it will also keep working on fitness software that could be used by other wearable devices.

"The Nike+ FuelBand SE remains an important part of our business. We will continue to improve the Nike+ FuelBand App, launch new METALUXE colors, and we will sell and support the Nike+ FuelBand SE for the foreseeable future," Nike spokesman Brian Strong told CNET in an email.

Nike's apparent decision to exit the wearable-device market comes as other companies begin to release fitness trackers of their own.

This month, Samsung began selling the Gear Fit, and Apple has long been rumored to be working on a smartwatch device. Earlier this year, Google announced Android Wear, a version of its mobile software designed for wearable devices, and numerous companies have committed to build devices powered by Android Wear. 

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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