Nike is said to be in the process of shutting down its wearable hardware division, meaning future FuelBands are no longer on the cards. However, the company is also planning to continue developing its fitness-related software and is looking to further partner with companies including Apple in the near future, according to a recent report.
The news comes in a CNBC interview with Nike chief executive officer Mark Parker, in which the CEO noted that he’s “excited” about his company’s developing relationship with Apple. MacRumors provides a transcript of the exchange:
Parker: [Y]ou’re going to continue to see us commit to this area, to focus on expanding the reach. Today, we have about 30 million FuelBand users. We’re hoping to push that to over 100 million. We have partners that we work with … obviously the most visible partner we have is Apple. We’ve been working with them for a long time. And we’re excited about where that relationship will go forward.
CNBC’s Sara Eisen: Well, can you give us a hint? Are we going to expect some sort of collaborative device coming out? Nike and Apple?
Parker: I can’t really say that. There’s been a lot of speculation, which I understand. I will just say the relationship between Nike and Apple will continue. And I am personally, as we all are at Nike, very excited about what’s to come.
The news comes not long after a report argued that Nike could help power Apple’s long anticipated “iWatch” product.
At the time, my colleague Bryan Wolfe outlined a number of reasons why such a partnership would make sense: Apple and Nike have been collaborating since 2006, Tim Cook is of course a Nike board member (and has been for nearly a decade), and the Nike+ FuelBand launched for iOS only – it’s never been compatible with Android. Cook has also declared his love of Nike’s FuelBand product previously.
Here’s the interview, see what you think:
As a reminder, Apple’s iWatch product is expected to offer users health and fitness functionality in the form of Healthbook integration; it’s also expected to sync with an iPhone handset in order to provide iOS notifications (and further features) at the wrist, Pebble-style.
We’re hoping to hear more about Apple’s rumored iWatch in the coming months. As always, we’ll keep you updated with further information as we receive it.
In the meantime, see: Apple Launches A Replacement Program For The iPhone 5’s Sleep Button, AppAdvice Daily: Accomplish The Unpossible With This Week’s Top Games, and AppAdvice Game Of The Week For April 25, 2014.