In preparation for Apple Watch’s launch on April 24, Apple has reportedly begun removing other wearables that could be seen as a threat from its retail stores. Popular devices like the Jawbone UP and the Nike+ FuelBand are among the casualties.
Recode reports that it has checked major Apple Stores in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and New York, and found that none of them are offering the fitness trackers mentioned above any longer.
The only device still standing is the Mio, a wristband that tracks your heart rate — but even that is only available from the Apple Online Store.
Apple first began removing fitness trackers from its stores as far back as last April. While the company may insist the move is to make its own brand more prominent or to make room for other products, it certainly seems as though it is dropping cheaper alternatives to the Apple Watch that might sway customers.
“They said they brought in a new executive in the marketing area who wanted to rework branding for the stores, and to make the Apple brand more front and center and clean up and minimize the number of accessories,” Liz Dickinson, chief executive and founder of Mio, told Recode.
While the move won’t have too much of an impact on Nike, which announced last year that it would stop producing the FuelBand, Fitbit could feel the hit. None of its wristbands are available from Apple anymore.
Apple has declined to comment on the move specifically, but it did tell Recode that it “regularly evaluates and makes changes to its merchandising mix.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time Apple has done this. Following its acquisition of Beats, rival products from Bose were booted from its stores last fall, before being reinstated in December.
Perhaps fitness trackers will return, then, but for the time being, at least, you won’t be able to buy them from Apple.