Jawbone is now the startup Apple should fear most

“Jawbone is ascending into the top echelon of tech startups, joining the likes of Uber, Dropbox, and Square,” Marcus Wohlsen writes for Wired. “But unlike these other rising stars, which are redefining digital services, Jawbone is redefining our gadgets themselves.”

“The maker of the Jambox wireless speaker and the Up fitness band — not to mention the least nerdy cell phone headsets — is reportedly about to close a quarter-billion-dollar investment,” Wohlsen writes. “This funding round would set the company up for a high profile IPO. And it should give pause to the world’s leading gadget maker, Apple. New money for Jawbone generally means a move into an entirely new product category — a move Apple has struggled to make in recent years.”

MacDailyNews Take: “Struggled” our collective ass. For the sake of fsck, Marcus, puleeze.

• iPhone was released 5 years, 7 months, and 19 days after iPod.
• iPad was released 2 years, 9 months, and 5 days after iPhone.
• Tim Cook has been Apple CEO for 2 years, 5 months, and 22 days.

“‘Good design accelerates the adoption of new ideas,’ Yves Béhar, the famed industrial designer and Jawbone’s chief creative officer, told Kara Swisher in a recent Vanity Fair profile,” Wohlsen writes. “As a master of design, Jawbone may beat Apple to those new ideas. And that’s what makes the startup such a threat.”

MacDailyNews Take: You know, because Apple’s Jony Ive knows nothing about design.

Wohlsen writes, “Apple’s stock price has fallen in recent months amid concerns that the company isn’t moving fast enough into entirely new areas beyond phones and tablets. The rumors of an Apple smartwatch have swirled for so long without the arrival of a real product, the company looks like it can’t make decisive advances without Steve Jobs to lead it.”

MacDailyNews Take:

• iPhone was released 5 years, 7 months, and 19 days after iPod.
• iPad was released 2 years, 9 months, and 5 days after iPhone.
• Tim Cook has been Apple CEO for 2 years, 5 months, and 22 days.

“To be sure, Jawbone is a small company that’s still plowing through venture capital. But for Apple, Jawbone ceases to be small if it’s purchased by Google,” Wohlsen writes. “At least before the Nest acquisition, Apple hasn’t had to worry much about competing directly with Google as a hardware maker. If Google bought Jawbone too, Apple would have even more reason to be anxious. One way out for Apple is to buy Jawbone itself. But that would be a big leap for the company. After this latest funding round, Jawbone is valued at more than $3 billion. That’s far more than Apple has ever paid for an acquisition. But that would be a small price to pay to inspire investors — and it would be way less boring than a stock buyback.”

MacDailyNews Take: Google needs to buy companies in order to either flush billions down the toilet or to try to catch Apple in whatever respect they think they need to catch Apple this week. Google’s scatterbrained strategy has not proven effective to date.

Full article – Think Before You Click™here.

MacDailyNews Take: If you think Marcus sounds silly now, just wait until we trot this one out again for reference in the near future.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Readers “CognativeDisonance” and “David E.” for the heads up.]


  1. I “Fear” Marcus Wohlsen is wrong.

    Jawbone must “Fear” the elephant in the room loading up their massively profitable retail and online stores with competing fitness and notification products.

    1. Jawbone makes great products that COMPLIMENT Apple’s products. Apple makes a generally good all-around headset to sell with it’s iPhones and iPods, but has no interest in bluetooth headsets, sports headsets, etc. Apple leaves that work to other companies — LIKE JAWBONE.

      Apple’s so afraid of Jawbone that it carries virtually all of Jawbone’s products in Apple Retail Stores.

      Stop the desperate reaches and veiled “Apple is dying” rehash stories from the early 1990s already. If Apple were really scared of Jawbone, it could buy Jawbone in a heartbeat, or throw billions into R&D and sell like products at half the price, driving Jawbone out of business.

      But Apple doesn’t do that. It actually likes having partners compliment its mobile devices with thoughtful, innovative products of their own.

      1. What you probably meant to say is COMPLEMENT. As in, to complete (something or someone).

        To compliment means to praise or express admiration for something. I wouldn’t be surprised if Jawbone’s products are designed in such a way as to praise Apple’s products, but somehow, I feel this was NOT the point in the statement above…

        1. *Pedant Alert!*
          While you may be perfectly correct about the spelling and meaning, context means that most people, I’m sure, will perfectly understand what was meant.
          I certainly did.

          1. Perhaps not so much a pedant as a ‘grammar Nazi’… I easily get annoyed by improper word usage (and don’t even get me started on they’re / their / there…!).

      2. “[Apple could] throw billions into R&D and sell like products at half the price… But Apple doesn’t do that.”

        You got that right. Nothing from Apple is priced less than the competition.

    1. A friend gave me a subscription to the much praised ‘Wired’ magazine, which was kind of him. Then I read it. Then I watch it gather dust under my couch each month. I asked my friend not to renew it. It’s a pointless waste of tree flesh and pigment.

      1. The magazine with its perfect binding, full bleeds and extravagonzoid style weighs 1.23 times the page equivalent of Vogue.

        Another annoying thing is the hipster attitude grafted onto a New Yorker gravitas.

        Its best thing is previews of the cute new jargon words not yet in a real dictionary but which can be dropped casually into conversations to impress your friends

      2. Yep, Wired is a total waste of grease on dead trees. It’s originally funky design has devolved into junky & often unreadable articles. Don’tcha hate having to find you’re magic glasses to read a biased article set in tiny reverse type? Their narcissistic “designers” know NOTHING about dot gain and the PURPOSE of graphic design. Cancelled my subscription years ago.

    2. I find it’s a pretty trashy magazine, overall. They rely so much on attention grabbing headlines, and take a very shallow “gee wiz” approach to describing technology. Not once have I read Wired say something really interesting or incitement that turned out to be in anyway accurate. They habitually make lame predictions, that always turn out to be wrong, don’t really make sense to begin with. I guess they want to impress readers with predictions they can’t find elsewhere, but I find this style of film-flam unnecessary, especially when real information about technology is actually very interesting.

    1. I’ve been through about 5 in a year. They last about 2 months with me. I like them, particularly the alarm and sleep tracking function, but the only thing keeping me “up” is the fact that they have been replacing the bands for free so far.

  2. Reading all the stupidity those “ANALyst” write I have came to a conclusion that they wanted to be soap opera writers.
    They don’t really “analyze” They just write what they WANT or HOPE to happen.
    Why don’t we change the their names to “HOPPERS” and stop calling them analyst?

  3. Does the author have any financial interest in Jawbone ? If not, it’s hard to see why he goes to such lengths to make out that Jawbone is some sort of threat to Apple when it’s quite obvious that nothing could be further from the truth.

  4. Truth is, these stories make sad….I fail to see the humor in these ridiculous claims and pathetic writers. Journalism is in essence politics. You HAVE to choose to either LOVE Apple or HATE it. There is nothing in between.

  5. Google did such a great job with their Motorola Mobility acquisition (and subsequent divestment about a year later). If Ggogle buys Jawbone then it will be a $3B mistake for them and the end of whatever potential that Jawbone might have as a fresh and growing company.

    Oh, and another thing. Apple could buy 50 overpriced Jawbones without having to borrow a dime. Not a lot to fear…

    1. Yep. I agree with the many here stating that Apple has nothing to fear. But I also could see some value to the acquisition for Apple. I own one JamBox, and it just works. Kind of an Apple thing to say about a product, you know? Imagine if it *were* an Apple product. 🙂

      (But just say no to the nerdy earwigs.)

      1. It would be cost less to design/make/bring to market these products than it would if Apple brought the company. Jawbone doesn’t possess any technology Apple needs to move forward. The same could be said of Nest.

  6. “The rumors of an Apple smartwatch have swirled for so long without the arrival of a real product”

    I love the way reporters talk about google as if their gods gift to innovation yet we’ve been hearing about glass since 2009-2010 yet we still can’t buy it.
    The only thing google have done well is search. Other than that they acquire and fill with ads and tracking

  7. It is weird writing. It is selling Jawbone. Why is he selling it? If I had nothing else to do, I’d follow the money. Probably pretty interesting.

    Jawbone is an interesting company and I hope to see some interesting stuff from them but comparing them to Apple? That’s like saying the United States has the most to fear from Nauru.

    It’s the same old crap. Use Apple’s name to get attention.

  8. Terrible tech journalism, as is the norm these days:
    At least before the Nest acquisition, Apple hasn’t had to worry much about competing directly with Google as a hardware maker <–OOPS, forgot about Motorola. But darn, that was a FAIL for Google.

    I should start using a "DUH-O-METER" for these idiotic articles.

    Setting aside the DUH Factor, I for one am always glad when Apple has some REAL competition. Bring it on!

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