Jawbone’s fitness-tracking devices were among those booted out of the Apple Store to make room for the Apple Watch, but according to Jawbone’s senior product manager Jason Donahue, they’re about to make a return.
Donahue revealed this tidbit during a presentation in Japan earlier today, during which he told the press that the new UP2 fitness band is expected to hit Japanese Apple Stores in early July — and U.S. Apple Stores even earlier than this.
The UP2 band is a recently launched mid-tier fitness tracking Jawbone device — lacking more advanced features from the higher-end UP3, such as heart rate and skin temperature monitoring.
If Apple does indeed allow the UP2 to be sold in Apple Stores, while not stocking the UP3, it could mark the tweaking of Apple’s strategy when it comes to fitness trackers by only barring the sale of those rival products which offer similar functionality to the Apple Watch.
This would make sense on the basis that, while Jawbone’s uP24 wristband is gone, glorified clip-on pedometer the Jawbone Move is still available for sale in many Apple Stores.
Apple’s original banning of rival products was reportedly due to the arrival of new marketing executives at Apple who wanted to “make the Apple brand more front and center and clean up and minimize the number of accessories.”
Yesterday we heard that Apple is likely to announce the availability of Apple Watches in brick-and-mortar Apple Stores at next week’s WWDC.