In a recent interview, Nike CEO Mark Parker said his company isnít giving up on its ďdigital sportĒ initiative with the apparent demise of FuelBand. Instead, it will pursue expansion of the NikeFuel ecosystem through high profile partners such as Apple. Following a report that mentioned Nike had laid off a good portion of its FuelBand hardware team, parker told CNBC that the company is looking to expand the reach of NikeFuel through partnerships with other companies.
When asked if Nike is planning to exit the wearable hardware market, Parker mentioned the following:
We are focusing more on the software side of the experience. I think we will be part of wearables going forward.
Based on recent estimates from market research group NPD, Nikeís fitness tracker accounted for only 10% of $330 million on fitness tracker sales in 013. Factoring in a $150 price tag, Nike sold roughly 220,000 FuelBands last year. If Parkerís estimate of 30 million FuelBand users is true, Nike would have sold a combined 28.8 million devices over the bandís first year of sales in 2012 and the first quarter of 2014. A more plausible explanation is that Parker meant 30 million NikeFuel users, though the CNBC reporter failed to clarify the statement.
In any case, the CEO didnít give a clear-cut answer regarding the future of FuelBand and instead emphasized the companyís commitment to expanding NikeFuel through partnerships with companies like Apple. To this end, Nike recently opened the Nike+ Fuel Lab in San Francisco as a type of incubator for ideas to help implement NikeFuel into third-party products. Although the effort is largely seen as a software effort, the lab could foster hardware integration solutions as well.
As far as the possibility of an Apple-made device that incorporates NikeFuel, Parker was coy on the subject, though he did acknowledge the rampant speculation by saying the following:
I will just say that the relationship between Nike and Apple will continue," Parker said, adding, "I am personally ó as we all are at Nike ó very excited about what's to come.
Source: CNBC, MobiHealthNews