Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Nike tops health and fitness apps ranking: Strategy Analytics

Iain Morris
May 7, 2014
Sportswear company Nike continues to set the pace in the market for health and fitness apps, according to the latest research from Strategy Analytics, despite deciding to stop developing its FuelBand fitness-tracking bracelet last month.

In a new report, the market-research company says Nike (Beaverton, OR, USA) ranked highly across a number of criteria it used to judge health and fitness apps, seeing off competition from Adidas (Herzogenaurach, Germany) and Asics (Kobe, Japan), which it nevertheless also described as “top performers” in this area.

“Nike’s move away from hardware will not affect its pursuit of software dominance in the health and fitness space, but rather open doors in becoming a third party developer to other companies’ wearable devices,” said Adam Thorwart, a senior research associate at Strategy Analytics.

Strategy Analytics also said that Nike’s shift from hardware to software under the Nike+ brand would allow it to take advantage of hardware now being included with many smartphones.

“However, the apps were previously free and the revenues came from the company’s own hardware,” said David MacQueen, the executive director of apps and media research for Strategy Analytics. “This shift will require a new path to revenue generation, and if the Nike+ becomes a paid service, Nike may lose some consumers with so many free apps providing competition.”

In a recent interview with CNBC, Nike chief executive Mark Parker indicated the company wanted to focus on the software side of the mobile health opportunity when explaining its decision to cease FuelBand development.

The company appears to have given up on trying to compete in the hardware space against the likes of Apple (Cupertino, CA, USA) and Samsung (Seoul, South Korea).

While Apple is rumored to be at work on a watch that would incorporate health monitoring features, Samsung has already launched a wristband – the Gear Fit – that is capable of tracking movements and monitoring a user’s heart rate.
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