Well the saga of Nike’s FuelBand future continues to get stranger by the day. A couple days ago, there was a report that claimed that Nike was cancelling the FuelBand and abandoning plans to make a thinner FuelBand, and had even fired a majority of employees that had been assigned to the product. Instead, the report claimed, Nike would aim to work more on software and wouldn’t be creating any more hardware components. This was reiterated when a Nike spokesperson, Brain Strong, was quoted as saying “our Digital Sport priorities evolve, we expect to make changes within the team, and there will be a small number of layoffs. We do not comment on individual employment matters.” However, it looks like Nike isn’t going to completely step out of the hardware game and abandon all hopes of a new FuelBand-like product.
Today, a brand new rumor surfaced claiming that Nike was working with Apple to bring a new ‘smart band’ to the market, and would include new intuitive gesture controls. The rumor claims that Apple is working closely with Nike to develop the product, which will take much of the technology used in Nike’s FuelBand, and put it in a new piece of hardware that will also be integrated with other devices and take advantage of new gestures.
The source claims that this device may take place of the often rumored iWatch. The device is said to be near completion, with Apple finishing up on the final design, and the device is expected to launch later this fall, which aligns with Tim Cook’s previous statements that we will see a new device from Apple sometime this year.
While the news that Nike was exiting the hardware game was certainly strange, it would make sense for the change to occur because of a new partnership with Apple. If Nike is really working closely with Apple to develop a new smart fitness and gesture-enabled band, it could be extremely successful and prove to be a wise decision for Nike, as the FuelBand wasn’t necessarily a must-have for most iPhone owners anyway.
What do you think about the possibility of a Nike-Apple partnership on a new smart band? Do you think it is smart of Nike to exit the hardware business for this possible venture? Leave your thoughts below, and let us know what you think of this possible device.