Apple & Nike Join Forces for iWatch & FuelBand Wearable

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Apple & Nike Join Forces for iWatch & FuelBand Wearable

Fitness and technology industry watchers were a bit confused when some negative news about Nike’s Fuelband came out last week. Many saw it as Nike’s inability to compete with the growing number of wearable fitness ?bands? and a decision to focus on their core products.

Later reports, however, gave a clearer picture of the plans of Nike. The abandonment of their hardware projects was supposed to clear up the way for Nike to make their Fuelband fitness tracker software, called NikeFuel, available to other hardware manufacturers.

With established and newer players entering the ?wearables? market, both as smart devices and fitness trackers, Nike’s position to grow with them is possible with their own Fuelband device out of the picture.

One of the reported partnerships that Nike is entering into, is with the upcoming Apple iWatch ( no word yet if this will be an exclusive arrangement).


The partnership is not surprising to industry analysts, as they point out that Tim Cook, the CEO of Apple Inc. (AAPL), sits on the board of directors of Nike. Reports also noted that Nike is still continuing the development of their NikeFuel software, which indicates that they are indeed staying in the game.

Kejuan Wilkins, a spokesperson for Nike, was also quoted saying that ? Building on these successful products and services, Nike and Apple continue to partner on emerging technologies to create better solutions for all athletes?.

So does this mean that NikeFuel will be fully integrated into the Apple iWatch (or iBand)? And will NikeFuel be available for other wearables?

Analysts think that in the same way that the Kindle store can be accessed not only with the Kindle device, but with the iPad and other tablets as well, NikeFuel will also be accessed in other platforms aside from the iOS? of the iWatch.

Apple insiders emphasize, however, that fitness will be a big part, not only of the iWatch but with the upcoming iOS8 system. An app for the iOS (codenamed: Healthbook) is reported to be a comprehensive fitness monitoring app that will not only record fitness statistics (calories, steps, etc…) but monitor heart rate, blood pressure and glucose levels as well.

The iWatch and NikeFuel partnership will give each other an edge over other smart watches and wearables. Nike will be unburdened with hardware design and manufacture (which Apple does very well), and Apple will have the fitness expertise of Nike.

Another development that bolsters the joining of forces, is the hiring of Ben Shaffer by Apple. Shaffer is Nike’s design director and is known as the leader of the Nike Fuelband team. He will be joining Apple’s iWatch project team.

The iWatch’s thrust in fitness does not mean that it is overlooking the fashion side of the ?wearable? industry. Last year, Apple stole Paul Deneve, who was then CEO of fashion company Yves Saint Laurent, and was appointed VP for ?special projects? reporting to Tim Cook himself.

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