Jawbone makes wearable fitness trackers and wireless audio devices, which means it’s basically a hardware company, but don’t let CEO Hosain Rahman hear you say that. In a recent interview with Recode, Rahman stated that Jawbone no longer sees itself as a hardware company, and that it’s hardware is mostly just a way to bring its software to consumers. The software itself is the real product, which is why the company has been forming partnerships with other hardware makers in order to put its software inside products without having to make the products itself.
Jawbone is best known as a maker of Bluetooth headsets, speakers and Up activity-trackers. But don’t call it a hardware company. That’s according to Jawbone CEO Hosain Rahman, who was interviewed by Recode’s Kara Swisher earlier today at the Code Mobile conference in Half Moon Bay, Calif. “We don’t think of ourselves as a hardware company anymore,” Rahman said. “We have more software engineers and data scientists… I think the way we see hardware now is a way to show people what’s possible with the technology.” He cited the company’s first real product — noise canceling technology — as an example of fine-turned software that was backed up by hardware. Jawbone has said for awhile now that it has been intently focused on offering value through its software, by incorporating more insights into its Up health-and-fitness app. And last June, Jawbone opened up its fitness-tracking platform to third-party device makers, with Chinese device-maker Huawei as its first hardware partner. As The Verge’s Dan Seifert wrote at the time, by partnering with other hardware makers Jawbone is able to offload the work of making hardware and focus even more on its “platform.”