In an interview with CNBC today, Nike president and CEO Mark Parker somewhat confirmed reports that the company is getting out of the fitness tracker hardware business.
Last week, CNET reported that Nike had fired most of its FuelBand fitness tracker team and is getting out of the hardware business. Nike canceled plans to release a thinner model of the FuelBand later this year, the report said.
With the upcoming Apple iWatch on its way, as well a multitude of other wearables like Samsung’s Gear Fit flooding the market, Nike exiting the space didn’t seem that farfetched.
Parker told CNBC that Nike was going to focus more on software in its Nike Fuel division, but stopped short of admitting that the company would no longer make the FuelBand.
“So you’re going to continue to see us commit to this area, to focus on expanding the reach. Today, we have about 30 million FuelBand users. We’re hoping to push that over 100 million,” he said.
But when he was asked specifically whether Nike was stopping production of the FuelBand and focusing more on the software side, he hedged, saying, “We are focusing more on the software side of the experience. I think we will be part of wearables going forward.”
Apple’s Tim Cook sits on Nike’s board, so there’s a chance of collaboration between the two companies. Parker wouldn’t get into specifics, however. “I will say the relationship between Nike and Apple will continue. And I am personally, as we all are at Nike, very excited about what’s to come,” he said.