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Nike laid off most of its FuelBand division recently and shelved plans for a slimmer FuelBand, prompting many to conclude that the athleticwear company was getting out of the wearable tech category. But new rumors that tie Nike to Apple suggest that the move was instead preemptive.
As Oregon Business Report notes, "last September Apple hired the former head of the Nike division charged with developing the FuelBand." They also point out that Nike's withdraw from wearable hardware also seems ill-timed because, "according to one estimate, consumers will purchase 17 million 'smart bands' this year—a figure that will nearly triple by 2017." Apple's iOS is the only operating system compatible with the FuelBand and its apps.
Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference, an event that usually serves to promote exciting new Apple products, will take place June 2. It'd make for a perfect stage to announce this type of blockbuster collab, wouldn't it?
· NIKE-Apple deal rumored [Oregon Business Report]
· Is This the End of the Nike FuelBand? [Racked SF]