Going UP: Jawbone UP24 goes worldwide – at a price
Jawbone has finally announced worldwide availability for its flagship UP24 smart wristband. However, going UP has a double meaning, as there’s a huge price premium in some markets.
The UP24, which syncs wirelessly with smartphones and notebooks that have Bluetooth LE, was announced back in November last year, and went on sale in North America in time for Christmas. In late March 2014 it is finally launching worldwide, at US $149.99, with the Jawbone online shop listing an impressive number of markets where the new band is available.
However, UP24 does not come cheap in some markets: In the Euro zone, for example, Jawbone is asking for €149.99 – which is more than US $200. In the UK, the GBP price for UP24 is identical to that of the Nike+ FuelBand, which trumps the Jawbone with an OLED display.
Along with the rollout of the UP24, Jawbone has lopped $30 off the price of its second-generation UP. This now retails at $99.99, but is definitely behind the technology curve, since it requires manual syncing via a smartphone’s headphone jack.
However, in terms of pricing, the Jawbone UP is now competing head-to-head with its closest rival, Fitbit Flex, which is listed at $99.95. As predicted a few days ago by WearableTechWatch, we are seeing the start of the “battle of the smart wristbands” price war.
If you are in the market for the latest in high-tech smart wristbands, we’d advise holding back until the fall: New entrants such as Sony and LG will soon bring their products to market, and prices are bound to drop further.
Jawbone, which was the first to market with a smart wristband, has also updated its smartphone apps on both the iPhone and Android. And because of Bluetooth syncing, the UP24 is the easiest smart wristband to use if you are looking for a gateway to the much-hyped Internet of Things (IoT), thanks to Jawbone’s tie-ups with IFTTT.
As explained in this earlier post, this integration makes it possible for an UP24 user to use internet-based automation for tasks that are triggered by a “wristband event”. For example, shifting the UP24 from wake to sleep mode could also trigger an automated, pre-programmed change of bedroom lighting with the Philips Hue system. There are currently 12 different triggers available on the IFTTT.com website, which offers a wide choice of easy-to-use IoT “recipes”.