Nike could be about to team-up with Apple for a collaboration that may result in the much-anticipated iWatch. After laying off much of the Nike Fuelband team recently, the Oregon based shoe company already has an existing relationship with Apple. That relationship and technology from both Apple and Nike could realistically be combined to produce the iWatch.
Since the decision by Nike to stop producing the Fuelband wearable activity monitor, the company has stated that they are going to focus more on the software side of the Fuelband. A question arose with that announcement. Why would Nike develop the Fuelband software if it was not going to produce the Fuelband anymore?
The answer may come from Apple. Rumors have been flying around about Apple getting into the wearable market with some type of technologically advanced watch. Nike and Apple have worked together in the past with the Nike+ system, so it would not be a major stretch for the two companies to combine for a watch system. The original Nike+ system was shoe based technology. A little Nike digital device goes into Nike+ enabled shoes and wirelessly connects to Apple products to track workouts and runs. Nike did expand their digital division by adding their own watch, the Fuelband, and teamed with Microsoft for a Xbox video game workout program.
An Apple iWatch with Nike Fuelband technology could be producted from this team-up and give both companies a lead in the wearable technology market. With Apple, just creating a watch would not be enough now. The company could tie it in with the iPhone similar to the Samsung Galaxy Gear watch. The offering from Samsung ties in with the Galaxy phone and allows the wearer to answer the phone, read messages and more. The Samsung wearable also counts steps and tells the wearer how many calories they have burned.
The Nike Fuelband software included in a iWatch would be a step in the right direction. With a more in-depth activity tracking that Nike could bring to an Apple wearable could be enough in itself to make the iWatch desirable in itself. Consumers would want more from Apple. Wireless syncing with iTunes, a long battery life, ability to control iPhones or iPads from the device are sure to be expected. Apple could go further with the potential to connect to more Apple devices and make an iWatch even more desirable.
Features of an iWatch are endless. And adding Apple technology to a device similar to a Fuelband would be unique. If the price point was competitive, a well thought out iWatch could pull customers away from Samsung and potentially could give FitBit a run for the activity wearable technology market. The lower price of FitBit products is one of the factors that led the Nike Digital Sports division to pull away from the digital wearable market and focus more on software development.
While a team-up with Apple could lead to the introduction of the iWatch, Nike is being smart keeping the Fuelband software in-house. This would leave the Oregon company the ability to collaborate with other companies reaching even more consumers. With Microsoft’s recent acquisition of Nokia, developing of a Windows watch with Nike connectivity could bring Fuelband to even more customers.
By Carl Auer