Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is reportedly pulling rival fitness bands from Apple retail stores, in a move to reduce competition and promote sales of the Apple Watch. Fitness bands like Jawbone Up and Nike+ Fuelband have been removed from Apple retail stores in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and New York.
The fitness bands are also expected to be pulled off from Apple online store as Nike+ Fuelband and Mio were removed and a few fitness bands like Jawbone Up were available on Thursday. Apple sensed that users were opting for fitness bands and did not want to lose out to the competition. In November, Apple removed Fitbit devices from its online store and Fitbit decided not to offer support to the Apple HealthKit tool that allows developers to create health-related apps for iOS and Apple Watch.
“We regularly evaluate and make changes to our own merchandise mix,” said an Apple spokesperson to CNET.
Apple had informed Mio CEO Liz Dickinson about the company decision to remove Mio fitness bands from Apple stores, though the company did not mention the launch of Apple Watch. However, Dickinson mentioned that Apple indicated a desire to shift its focus on its own brand. During the Apple Watch event on Monday, the company announced that the wearable is a combination of a smartwatch and health monitor.
Apple Watch will be available on April 24 and pre-orders will be taken from April 10. The wearable includes several health and fitness features like heart rate monitoring, calculating the calories burnt and to measure speed and distance while walking or running. The smartwatch stores the health data and provides feedback on the activities. Can Apple really control competition or user’s preferences by removing rival fitness bands from its stores or will the move backfire?, only time will tell.[ Via ]