According to market sources, the world's leading athletic
) finally expanded its Nike+ FuelBand application compatibility to
) Android operating system enabled smartphones. Earlier, the apps
compatibility was only restricted to
However, not every smartphone user will be lucky enough to get
their hands on the app as it requires Android 4.3 Jelly Bean or
above along with Bluetooth LE support. Therefore, the owners of
Samsung's Galaxy S3, S4, and S5, as well as Moto X, HTC One and
Nexus 5 will be able to enjoy the benefit of FuelBand on their
phones. Moreover, the app is only compatible with the newly
launched FuelBand SE model.
FuelBand is a device which when connected to a smartphone
through Bluetooth tracks one's steps and burned calories. The
Android powered smartphone users had to wait for nearly two and a
half years to use this fitness gadget due to the absence of
Bluetooth LE in most Android handsets. Therefore, Nike had to keep
its FuelBand support restricted solely to iOS devices in the
It could not have been better timed for Nike to launch this
fitness app, as it is the official sponsor of one of the world's
mega sporting events, the FIFA World Cup 2014. The quadrennial
soccer tournament arguably has the biggest television audience
compared to any other sporting events in the world.
The global viewership is expected to multiply immensely this
year with broad proliferation of digital and social media channels.
As such, sponsors are likely to pull every possible trick to
showcase their products during the tournament for maximum brand
exposure and top-of-the-mind recall.
We believe that the timing is also crucial for Nike to introduce
this app as rumor of other companies launching similar wearable
gadgets is heating up. As per market sources, Apple is scheduled to
introduce a fitness gadget called iWatch by the fall of 2014. Apart
from this, Google is also expected to launch Android Wear which
will be available on certain Smartphones including Motorola's Moto
360 smartwatch. It is also expected that companies such as Lenovo,
Fossil Group Inc.
) will also launch their fitness trackers in the market very
Nike's recent move has also discarded the market speculation
that it is trying to get out of the wearable business altogether as
the company has laid off several employees from the hardware
department. At least for now, it appears that Nike will continue to
work in the software market to provide support to its existing
Currently, Nike carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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