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In Brief

Nike has let go most of the members of its FuelBand wearables unit and will stop developing new versions of the device, according to a report by CNET. The tech news site quoted an unnamed person “familiar with the matter” as saying that the firm has laid off 70 to 80 percent of its 70-person hardware division and will not produce a new version of the FuelBand, but will continue to sell the existing version. Some industry observers believe Nike has decided to align itself with Apple, which is expected to launch an iWatch or other wearable device that might run Nike’s Fuel software. Apple CEO Tim Cook is a member of Nike’s board.

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In Brief

Apple appears to be continuing on its path to ever more vertical integration as Japanese newspaper Nikkei reported that the consumer electronics giant is in talks with Japan’s Renesas Electronics to take over a unit that supplies all of Apple’s iPhone liquid crystal displays. Displays aren’t only the “face” of the phone, they are also the largest consumer of battery power. With such IP in-house, I’m sure Apple’s engineers can not only create a reliable supply of these components, but also improve the most important customer-facing aspect of a phone or tablet. Apple is reportedly seeking to buy a 55 percent stake of Renesas SP Drivers, a joint venture Renesas has with Sharp and Powerchip.

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Rdio is the next top-tier name to work with Google’s Chromecast streaming stick. On Monday, the music service said its entire 20 million song catalog can be streamed to television through the Chromecast by using the Rdio app on iOS and Android. Don’t skip a step if you don’t use those mobile apps though: Rdio says its web client can also be used to stream music to a Chromecast. Using the apps, Rdio users can tune in to their favorite songs or create a personalized station for streaming, along with album art, to a Chromecast. In addition to Rdio, Crackle and VUDU also launched new apps that support Chromecast Monday.

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