Nike’s decision to shutter the hardware side of FuelBand has prompted speculation the sports apparel company will have an even deeper partnership with Apple going forward. Speaking to CNBC, the company’s CEO, Mark Parker, helped fuel those rumors even further by suggesting Nike is indeed going to collaborate with Apple on something exciting in the future.
Although Parker didn’t implicitly say Nike and Apple are working on a project together, his comments can certainly be taken as a hint that something of significance is on the way.
“We have partners that we work with… obviously the most visible partner we have is Apple. We’ve been working with them for a long time, and we’re excited about where that relationship will go forward,” Parker said.
Apple has long sold Nike’s FuelBand in its stores, but with the device no longer being manufactured, how will the relationship move forward? Perhaps a deeper partnership with Nike+iPod, but the more likely scenario would be an iWatch collaboration focused on health. Nike already has the software, while Apple is reportedly working on the hardware element.
“I will just say the relationship between Nike and Apple will continue,” Parker said. “And I am personally, as we all are at Nike, very excited about what’s to come.”
It’s not an outright admission that Nike and Apple will announce something later this year, but it’s close. Some of Nike’s best talent has already moved over to Apple, and signs are everywhere suggesting the Cupertino company is getting serious about health. Parker said there are currently more than 30 million FuelBand users, with hopes to push that to 100 million down the road. A big partner like Apple could help achieve that goal, so we’ll have to wait and see what happens.
Just this week Apple CEO Tim Cook said he was excited about what the company has coming. Many expect the company’s 2014 lineup to include an iWatch, and it sure sounds like Nike is somehow involved. Will we see something at WWDC? Maybe this fall? Hopefully we’ll find out more info soon.