Talk about your mixed messages. Over this Easter weekend Nike announced that it has laid off over 40 of their 70-man team behind the development of the FuelBand, the company’s fitness wearable.
Naturally, this has added fuel to the rumour fire claiming that Nike is all but ready to scrap the FuelBand altogether. This would see the company redouble its efforts in fitness software, rather than hardware, such as its Nike+ iOS app. However, Nike seem keen to play that suggestion down by announcing that not only will they continue to produce the Nike+ FuelBand SE – and will also be releasing a new set of colourways, including special metallic edition.
Of course this could all be posturing to save face, and just because the dev team has been axed it doesn’t mean that Nike can’t continue to produce an already-existing product. Still, it’s hard to shake the feeling that all of this is leading up to something much bigger than the FuelBand could ever be: the iWatch.
Apple CEO Tim Cook sits on Nike’s board of directors. Nike+ exists exclusively on iOS. Multiple former Nike+ team members have moved to Apple. The iWatch is strongly rumoured to be revealed later this year. Doesn’t it all fit together a little too well?