Nike on Tuesday said its new FuelBand SE fitness tracker will only work with Apple devices, dealing a blow to Android users who expected support with the newest device.
Nike’s previous FuelBand device also worked only with iOS gadgets, such as the iPhone 5. The company on Tuesday said if users don’t have Apple devices, they can track their progress through a PC app.
Nike unveiled its new FuelBand SE Tuesday during an event in New York. The device, like its predecessor, is designed to push people to move more throughout the day by awarding “NikeFuel” points. Some new additions include the ability to track sleep, and the new device also is waterproof.
The company long has had close ties to Apple, working together many times in the past. Apple CEO Tim Cook even serves on Nike’s board, a position he’s held since 2005. That could cause some conflicts in the future as Apple reportedly preps its own smartwatch device, but for now the two seem closely linked.
During Apple’s iPhone launch last month, the company revealed that the Nike+ Move app is the first program that takes advantage of Apple’s new M7 processor in the iPhone 5S. That “motion coprocessor” continuously measures motion data through the accelerometer, compass, and gyroscope, taking it away from Apple’s standard A7 processor. That should allow health apps to constantly collect data without draining the battery too quickly.
Stefan Olander, Nike vice president of digital sports, said Tuesday that the Nike+ Move app is free on the iPhone 5S and allows users to get NikeFuel scores using Apple’s M7 processor.
Nike was among the first companies to ride the wave of fitness trackers and certainly has been one of the most high-profile names. The original FuelBand from 2012 was a success thanks to its winning design and strong integration with Apple’s iOS. But Nike has faced more competition lately, including from the Fitbit Force and smartwatches such as the Samsung Galaxy Gear.
Limiting its compatibility only to Apple devices is something that could hurt Nike longer term. Android makes up about 80 percent of all smartphones sold on the planet, according to IDC, and it also now represents the majority of tablet shipments
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