Apple removes more wristworn fitness devices from its stores

By Aditi Pai
08:47 am

Apple WatchApple has stopped selling a number of fitness tracking devices in its stores recently, including Withings Pulse O2 Activity Tracker, and, as Re/Code reported this morning, Jawbone Up24, Nike FuelBand SE, and Mio's wristworn heart rate tracker. Apple pulled the devices just about a month before it plans to launch its own activity tracker, the Apple Watch.

Apple also no longer carries Misfit's activity tracker, Shine, at its stores, but this move appears to have happened a while back, possibly even a year ago.

Towards the end of last year, Apple removed Fitbit activity trackers from its physical and online stores. Apple made this move shortly after Fitbit announced on its customer feedback forum that it had no current plans to integrate with Apple's health aggregation platform, HealthKit.

The only activity tracking device still available in Apple's online store is Jawbone's low-cost, clip-on tracker, the Jawbone Move -- notably, Fitbit's clip-on trackers are also no longer available in Apple's online store.

Other health tracking devices (that are not fitness tracking, wristworn devices) are still available, including Polar and Wahoo heart rate monitors; iHealth's blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter device; Withings' weight scale, sleep tracking system, and blood pressure monitor; and several sport-specific tracking devices. 

Earlier this week, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that the Apple Watch will commercially launch on April 24th. The smartwatch will track movement through a built-in accelerometer and heart rate through optical sensors in the back of the device. It will extrapolate further data from the GPS and WiFi on the user’s iPhone, which will be required to use some of the features of the device. At the recent announcement, Cook added that the Apple Watch would offer about 18 hours of battery life between charges.

Nike, which has historically had a close relationship with Apple, has been moving its focus away from its wristworn activity tracker for a year now. Last month, Nike updated its Nike+ Fuel app, adding connectivity with Apple HealthKit and the option to eschew the Nike+ FuelBand hardware entirely and track movement using the smartphone’s sensors alone. The app also dropped “Band” from its name, further distancing the company from its own hardware.

And this month, Nike announced that users of its Nike+ Running app will now be able to pull data from fitness devices made by Garmin, TomTom, Wahoo Fitness, and Netpulse. Users that own a Garmin, TomTom, Wahoo Fitness, or Netpulse device can download the Nike+ Running app and pair their device.

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