Now that Apple is launching its own wearable, the company’s retail stores are beginning to remove Apple Watch competitors from its retail stores. According to a report from Re/code, the company is pulling Nike and Jawbone fitness bands off the shelves.
The Nike Fuelband and Jawbone’s UP are no longer listed on Apple’s online retail store, and AppleInsider has reported that the wearables are no longer available at multiple Apple Store locations across the U.S. Both wearables compete with the Apple Watch’s physical activity tracking abilities, allowing wearers to set fitness goals, monitor their progress, and compare themselves to others in the community via iOS and Android apps.
Jawbone’s clip-on UP Move fitness tracker is still available, presumably because it is not considered a direct competitor to the Apple Watch. Wahoo TICKR and Polar Wearlink heart rate transmitters are also still available for sale through Apple.
This is not the first time Apple has removed competitors’ products from its stores. Last year, after the NFL banned Apple-owned Beats headphones from appearing on camera in compliance with a Bose sponsorship deal, Apple removed all Bose products from its stores. The products ultimately reappeared in Apple Stores, however. Maybe the same will happen with Jawbone and Nike, but I have my doubts that Apple would continue carrying products that compete directly with the Apple Watch.
It is likely a smart move to remove these competing products from its stores. Apple wants the Watch to be successful, and diluting their share of purchases by offering competing products would not be a smart move. Keeping products like the clip-on UP Move fitness tracker is fine, because that device is not in the same category as the Apple Watch. Removing the wearable band devices, though, is wise on Apple’s part, since it could increase the number of shoppers who turn to the company’s smartwatch.
The Apple Watch begins preorders on April 10, with shipments of the wearable beginning April 24. You can get the Apple Watch starting at $349 for the 38mm Apple Watch Sport, or the stainless steel wearable starting at $549. For truly discerning tastes, Apple Watch Edition starts at $10,000.