Apple plants a flag in the home fitness market with Fitness+ for Apple Watch

The offering, consisting of original workout content tightly integrated with Apple Watch features, was announced at a virtual event yesterday.
By Jonah Comstock
02:20 pm

While Apple’s big announcement yesterday was around a new blood oxygenation sensor, the company also rolled out a new video fitness class offering which could turn out to be even more impactful for the company.


Apple Fitness+, a diverse subscription platform of fitness videos designed to be used in conjunction with an Apple Watch and its activity-tracking functions, brings Apple into the contentious home fitness market with the likes of Peloton and Mirror. The offering is especially poignant coming, as it does, at a moment when many are turning to home workouts because of COVID-19.

Apple Fitness+ distinguishes itself from other home workout offerings through its tight integration with the Apple Watch. In fact, the platform can’t be used without an Apple Watch from Series 3 or later. Users can start the videos from their Watch, and, once the workouts are underway, users’ workout data — and graphics like ring celebrations — will be displayed onscreen on the user’s iPhone, iPad or Apple TV. The Watch will record the workout just as it records other workouts.

Apple has collected a diverse group of trainers, including athletes, dancers, yogis, martial artists, personal trainers and more. This corps of individuals is working together to produce the training videos, which will be released at a rate of dozens per week.

The integration with the Watch also comes into play with Fitness+’s recommendation engine, which surfaces recommendations based, not only on workouts users have done in the platform, but also on what sorts of workouts they do outside of it. And, through an integration with Apple Music, subscribers to both services will be able to import workout playlists from Fitness+ videos into Music.


Coincidentally, Fitness+ news broke during a public shareholder meeting for Peloton, CNBC reports. Commenting on the platform, Peloton CEO John Foley said it was a legitimization of the space and that his company would continue to differentiate itself by offering hardware.

Apple, on the other hand, has spun the fact that its workouts don’t require specialized equipment as a positive, since that situation allows users to work out anywhere, including at the gym and while traveling. While some workouts require equipment, they are brand-agnostic and many require only a set of hand weights, Blahnik mentioned on stage at yesterday’s event.

The subscription service will debut later this year for $9.99 per month or $79.99 per year, though customers can get three months free with the purchase of a new Apple Watch.


“We’re so excited to energize our customers with new ways to get active and stay active with Apple Watch,” Jay Blahnik, Apple’s senior director of fitness for Health Technologies, said in a statement.

“With diverse studio workouts that are suitable for all ability levels, led by a phenomenal group of unique trainers, and an approachable program designed for beginners all the way through to the fitness enthusiast — as well as the flexibility to work out anywhere — there’s something for everyone. We know Fitness+ will take working out with Apple Watch to the next level with unparalleled engagement, convenience, and inspiration.”




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