Subscribe

Apple Watch kicks rival fitness devices out of stores (+video)

Nike+ Fuel Band, Jawbone Up24, and FitBit are noticeably missing from Apple retail stores in anticipation of the Apple Watch release. What is happening to the fitness-watch industry now?

Though the Apple Watch won’t officially debut until April, Apple’s smart watch has already begun to make its mark on the nascent smart-watch market, particularly in the fitness arena.

Apple stores on the West Coast have stopped selling Nike+ FuelBand, FitBit, and Jawbone Up24 bands in anticipation of the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch, which heavily touts health-monitoring features. With Apple throwing its full weight behind its in-house smart watch, what will happen to the smart watches previously sold alongside iPhones?

The gradual exodus began last fall after Apple announced the Apple Watch. FitBit was the first to leave the Apple retail umbrella. It wasn’t a total surprise, given that FitBit has had its qualms about Apple’s iOS 8 HealthKit, and wouldn’t be adopting the software for its popular fitness-tracking smart band.

Recommended: 6 inventors who regret their very successful creations

Now, as the Apple Watch release date draws near, Re/Code reports that major Apple stores in Palo Alto, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles no longer carry Nike+ FuelBand, Jawbone Up24, and Mio heart rate monitor bands (though some still carry the Mio and Jawbone pedometers).

Several of these products also seem to already be bowing to the hype around Apple’s smart watch.

Nike was one of the early app partners with the Apple Watch, already announcing a Nike+ app for the device. Nike recently trimmed its FuelBand division, and, currently, the section of the website devoted to the FuelBand features the app, with little mention of the band itself. Nike has always focused more on iOS than Android, only recently announcing an Android app – plus Apple chief executive officer Tim Cook sits on Nike's board of directors. This could mean that Nike might push for more integration with the Apple Watch, rather than focusing on a standalone product.

Jawbone made the updates to HealthKit when iOS 8 was released, offering users the ability to connect their fitness information to the iPhone if they chose. The next iteration of the Jawbone band, the Jawbone Up3, has reportedly been in the works, though the release date has been continually pushed up and there is no word where it stands today.

Mio told Re/Code it didn’t rely on Apple stores for a big part of its sales, but the association with Apple did help its image as a vetted accessory to the iPhone.

FitBit seems to be the only outlier to this trend. The company has always been open to both iOS and Android, so the expulsion from Apple retail hasn’t seemed to sway its products. That isn’t to say there won’t be plenty of competition in the Android space, as well. With Samsung’s Gear and LG’s G Watch, major Android players are getting into the smart-watch game, often with health monitoring features as a prominent selling point. 

Apple is heavily touting the health features of its Apple Watch, which include sensors that monitor calories burned, amount of activity, and how long it has been since a user has stood up. Users can also track workout time and distance.

Will Apple surge ahead of the fitness-watch competition when the Apple Watch drops? Stay tuned.

About these ads
Sponsored Content by LockerDome
 
 
Make a Difference
Inspired? Here are some ways to make a difference on this issue.
FREE Newsletters
Get the Monitor stories you care about delivered to your inbox.
 

We want to hear, did we miss an angle we should have covered? Should we come back to this topic? Or just give us a rating for this story. We want to hear from you.

Loading...

Loading...

Loading...

Save for later

Save
Cancel

Saved ( of items)

This item has been saved to read later from any device.
Access saved items through your user name at the top of the page.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You reached the limit of 20 saved items.
Please visit following link to manage you saved items.

View Saved Items

OK

Failed to save

You have already saved this item.

View Saved Items

OK