With Apple Watch en route, Apple Stores give Jawbone and Nike Fuelband the …

12 Mar 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Apple Expels More Wearables From Store To Make Room For Apple Watch Next Month.

The latest victims are Jawbone’s Up24 fitness band and Nike’s Fuelband, which have disappeared from Apple Store shelves in several major cities according to Re/code. Numerous Apple Stores on both coasts have removed Nike Fuelband and Jawbone UP24 fitness wearables from their shelves, presumably to focus attention on the Apple Watch, which arrives April 24.In a recent report by Re/Code, it was stated Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is in the process of removing other companies’ fitness wearables and smartwatch-like products from its stores. Re/code called Apple Stores in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and New York and found the stores were no longer stocking the Jawbone UP24 and the Nike+ FuelBand.

Though both are fitness bands that don’t necessarily compete directly with Apple Watch, they’ve nonetheless been removed from circulation via Apple. That news came a week after Fitbit said it wouldn’t work with Apple’s Health app, opting instead to build out its own platform of connected fitness services.

And while Nike still sells its Fuelband in other stores, the company is no longer developing new wearable hardware as it shifts its attention to software and services. Apple is also expected to showcase the smartwatch at major high-end high street shops like Selfridges in London and the Galeries Lafayette in Paris, France. As for Nike, many believe that an agreement between Nike and Apple was struck long ago that Nike would exit the fitness tracker hardware business and focus on the software. In any case, Apple isn’t directly citing the Watch as a motivation. “They said they brought in a new executive in the marketing area who wanted to rework branding for the stores, and to make the Apple brand more front and center and clean up and minimize the number of accessories,” Liz Dickinson, Mio’s founder and CEO, told Re/code.

Still, it’d be foolish for Apple to abolish fitness trackers entirely, especially those that can hook into the company’s HealthKit framework with data that Apple Watch doesn’t collect, such as sleep tracking or built-in GPS. It could be a simple evaluation of the store’s performance and weeding out low performers, but Apple has now yanked hardware from three different companies that competes directly with their Apple Watch. Hopefully the removal of Jawbone and Nike Fuelband are just a sign of Apple taking stock and figuring out the best health tracking devices to offer, rather than clearing out anything that might be considered competition. Mio CEO and founder Liz Dickinson told Re/code that her company did not sell a large volume through Apple Stores, though it did help with the prestige factor. We don’t know why Apple has trimmed these products out of stores, but in taking a closer look at their online portal, it seems Apple really is clearing out Apple Watch’s competition.

Strategy Analytics expects Apple to ship 15 million of its watches in 2015, giving Apple a 55 percent share of smartwatch shipments out of the 28 million smartwatches expected to ship in 2015. Fitbit has been going more towards the smartwatch side of wearables with the recently introduced Fitbit Surge, which has a screen for getting notifications from your phone. The icon for ‘Fitness & Sport’ under ‘Accessories’ in Apple’s online store might still be the Nike Fuelband, but wrist-worn items like it are all gone, now. If anyone’s going to figure them out, I’m guessing it will be Apple,” Fitbit CEO and cofounder James Park told me at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in January. “But I still feel like the price point is pretty high for most consumers.

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