Nike and Apple teaming up for new wearables

Sports giant's CEO spills the beans on exciting plans

Nike boss Mark Parker has stated that the sports giant will be jumping back into the world of wearable tech through a partnership with Apple.

Talking to Stephanie Ruhle on Bloomberg’s Market Makers, the Nike CEO stated: “I’m quite bullish on our relationship with Apple. As you know Tim Cook is on the Nike board.

“As I look ahead to what’s possible between Nike and Apple, two amazing brands, technologically we can do things together that we couldn’t do independently.

“Part of our plan is to expand the whole digital frontier in terms of wearables, and go from what we say is tens of millions of users - right now there's 25 million Nike+ users - to hundreds of millions."

Essential reading: Our Apple Watch first look

Parker insisted that wearables aren’t a fad but indicated that he wasn’t sure exactly what devices would become success stories as per the Nike+ Fuelband.

“I think that wearables are going to be a big part of the future, absolutely, but I think what form it takes is the big question,” he said.

"I think what you'll see in the future are things that are more stealth, more integrated, more stylish, and more functional.”

Nike began winding down its Fuelband operation earlier this year, fuelling speculation that there would be no more devices from the Portland-based company.

Luckily, Apple was there to help former employees find work. Ryan Bailey is now mechanical design engineer at Apple and Jon Gale is a sensing systems engineer. Both are former Nike+ team members. Apple also hired Jay Blahnik, who advised on the Fuelband at Nike.

The two companies also have plenty of history with the original Nike+ sensor launching with iPod compatibility back in 2006 and it was rumoured that Nike may be partnering with Apple for its rumoured iWatch.

However, when the Apple Watch was made official back in September, the sports company's name wasn’t mentioned.

But maybe those murmurs of an Apple Fuelband-esque fitness band weren’t too wide of the mark after all.

We’ll be keeping a close eye on this one, here’s the full interview:


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