It looks like a quiet collaboration with Apple is what’s behind some big reorganization moves by the sporting brand giant in recent days
Nike denies it, but sources close to Apple know something that most of the industry has not been clued in on just yet.
While leaks regarding the new iPad and iPhone seem to hit the news stands every other day, another product which is currently in its final stages of development in Cupertino is the actual cause for a move by Nike a few days back that led to the dismissal of nearly a third of its digital division’s workforce responsible for the Nike FuelBand.
No smartwatch. A smart band
In recent weeks I spoke several times with two sources in Cupertino pertaining to future products to be released by Apple later this year for the holiday season in the U.S. and Europe. Judging on the basis of the information revealed in these conversations, Apple has been working for a long time on a project that appears to be in its final stages of touch-ups.
What became clear is that the much anticipated Apple smart watch is not so much a watch as it is a smartband. It would appear that just as Apple has done with the iPhone and iPad, here too the technology giant plans to create a focal point around which a new ecosystem will evolve. To be more specific, Apple is looking to launch a smart band towards the end of this year whose collection of sensors will be able to be used not only to monitor the activity of the wearer, but also to operate other devices as a gestural controller.
As such, questions about things like Apple’s entry into the Mobile payments market can be replaced with new questions like; why use a smartphone to complete a transaction if it can be completed using an item that is literally on you all the time? You don’t even need to dig into your pocket to find it.
So what happens when one of the pioneers in the wearables market that created a revolutionary product and was pretty successful in enabling the monitoring of physical activity and synchronizing data wirelessly directly to the smartphone, decides to give up on this incredibly trendy vertical just as every other major technology firm is looking to get in on the action?
Well, Nike knows something you don’t. Nike is being very secret about the whole matter but when Apple launches its new smart band later this year things will become clearer. Until then we can say that Nike will play a significant part in shaping the next Apple’s next product. And it makes sense when you consider that Nike must be thinking about what will happen in a few months if their customers wake up one morning to find themselves wearing a product that pales in comparison to something new that’s sweeping the market. From that perspective, it’s probably better to be jumping on the bandwagon long in advance rather than starting a product war you’re probably going to lose out on in the long run.
In some ways this can be looked at as the continued development of the next model of the FuelBand; upgraded and with a whole new team behind it.