Nike has shocked the world lately as it decided to ditch its FuelBand line-up, along with also killing its whole wearable division. We’ve seen tremendous growth in fitness trackers, and also in the concept of making your smartwatch help you track your fitness as well, so many are wondering why would Nike ever consider killing one of the products that started it all. New rumors point to the reasons why this is happening, and these have all to do with Apple.
Recent rumors have emerged that Apple and Nike are teaming up to bring these services to the iWatch. We’ve seen how Nike has made it’s Nike+ Fuel database now available to third parties, and we’ve also seen Apple hire some Nike designers recently. According to the arguments behind the rumor, all this makes sense because:
1) iOS was the only mobile system able to be used with FuelBand and its apps — essentially making the FuelBand a glorified iOS accessory.
2) Tim Cook links both companies together: being CEO of Apple, and having sat on the board of directors for the past nine years.
3) Back in September, Apple hired Ben Shaffer — previously Nike’s Studio Director of the Innovation Kitchen, the division responsible for Nike’s wearable tech. In doing so it gained a key employee with knowledge of both companies.
And if we remember, in Nike’s closing statement to why it was ditching the division, it said that:
Partnering with industry-leading tech companies is nothing new for [us]. We have been working with Apple to develop products since 2006, when we introduced Nike+ Running, and Nike has since created iOS Apps including Nike+ Training Club, Nike+ FuelBand and Nike+ Move. Building on these successful products and services, Nike and Apple continue to partner on emerging technologies to create better solutions for all athletes.
Surely Apple doesn’t have the S-Health suite of services that we currently find from Samsung devices, but Nike+ services have proven to be more popular anyway, so let’s see where this leads.