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Apple to Cease Selling Fitbit Activity Tracking Devices in Stores

Apple has plans to stop selling Fitbit's line of activity tracking devices in its stores as it prepares to launch its own Apple Watch in the coming months, reports Re/code.

While it is not known why Apple plans to cease selling Fitbit products, its decision comes shortly after Fitbit told its users that it had no plans to integrate with Apple's HealthKit at the current time, as it was "working on other exciting projects" for its users.

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Fitbit's line of activity trackers are similar in function to the Apple Watch, offering users the ability to track their steps taken, distance traveled, calories burned, stairs climbed, and sleep quality. Recent rumors have suggested Fitbit has several new devices in the works that will launch soon, with all of the above features plus a heart rate monitor. A heart rate monitor is one of the key features of the Apple Watch.

Apple sells many other types of fitness tracking devices both in its online store and in retail locations, including the UP from Jawbone and the Nike Fuelband, and it is unclear whether Apple will continue to sell these devices or if the ban is limited to Fitbit.

Fitbit's activity trackers won't be the first products Apple has stopped selling in recent weeks. Just last week, news surfaced that Apple was preparing to remove Bose audio products from its stores. While the reason for that removal was unclear, it was likely related to Apple's recent Beats Electronics acquisition. Apple has indeed gone ahead and started removing the headphones from its retail stores according to both Twitter users and tips received by MacRumors.



Top Rated Comments

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59 months ago
"Fitbit told its users that it had no plans to integrate with Apple's HealthKit"

That's reason enough. There's no reason for Apple to sell or showcase items in its store that don't integrate well with their own products.
Rating: 42 Votes
59 months ago
Excellent. Serves Fitbit right for being snobby, proud teenagers rejecting HealthKit support.
Rating: 17 Votes
59 months ago
Some of the responses from people on this board are bordering on scary.

For example, saying FitBit deserves to go out of business because they don't want to support Apple's HealthKit, and they deserve what they get.

Since when was partnering with Apple a requirement for a company?
Rating: 16 Votes
59 months ago
I'm on board with this. The main Apple area of the store is nice, but the rest of it looks like a bazaar sometimes. They need to get rid of this other junk that isn't built explicitly in a partnership. Fitbit is no better on iOS than on Android, so they shouldn't get this prime real estate ahead of someone else who IS trying to be mutually beneficial. Same with Bose. If they want to actively FINE people for preferring a different brand, even if it's for a cause, then I really am not interested in their products. Same with the whole Samsung "you can't use the phone you prefer at the Olympics" nonsense. Tacky.
Rating: 12 Votes
59 months ago

Excellent. Serves Fitbit right for being snobby, proud teenagers rejecting HealthKit support.


Well, this should be no surprise.

FitBit says: "We don't have plans to adopt your HealthKit stuff, Apple."

Apple says: "There are dozens of other companies that are already supporting our HealthKit apps. They would love to see their products on our Retail Store shelves. We need to make room for their products, so yours will have to be removed from the shelves. They'll be taking your spot."
Rating: 10 Votes
59 months ago
But Fitbit tracks sleep.

Sleep tracking is one of the main things that attracts me to Fitbit.

The Apple watch won't be able to track sleep, since that's when they expect people to charge it every night.

Honestly, as odd as it sounds, that's one of the main marks against the Aple Watch in my brain right now.
Rating: 10 Votes
59 months ago

When I go into an Apple Store, I expect any accessories I buy to work well with my iOS devices. If I buy Fitbit inside the Apple Store only to find out that it will be a half-baked experience because it doesn't support Health Kit, I would be mad.


Most here will try to say Apple should be removing them because they don't support Healthkit. However, the fact is very few products are actually supporting Healthkit currently. We all know the real reason is because Apple is coming out with the Apple Watch. But I'm sure this thread will be 100 pages long crapping all over Fitbit for not supporting Healthkit.

It is clear Apple is starting to remove products from the Apple Store that compete with their own products. They did it with Bose and now Fitbit. They certainly have that right. However, pushing away partners that make the iOS ecosystem so strong may not be wise in the long run. You can bet Fitbit is going to start putting more resources into the Android in case Apple does even more to lock them out of iOS.
Rating: 9 Votes
59 months ago

Apple products are sold at other retailers. Discontinuing too many choices could backfire on Apple.


When I go into an Apple Store, I expect any accessories I buy to work well with my iOS devices. If I buy Fitbit inside the Apple Store only to find out that it will be a half-baked experience because it doesn't support Health Kit, I would be mad.

I'm sure it'll still function in some ways with iOS devices. But when I'm in the Apple Store, I want to see items that offer strong and full integration. Selling health related accessories that integrate well with Health Kit is a must.

(Obviously, this argument does not apply to the Bose situation. But for this... this makes sense.)
Rating: 8 Votes
59 months ago
Amusing to me is this turn of phrase, "if the ban is limited to Fitbit."

Ban? Is it really a ban? Or is it just the end of an agreement or desire to sell the product. Ban seems quite extreme...
Rating: 7 Votes
59 months ago
Fitbit did not say that they would never support Healthkit. Here's a quote from one of their employees on the Fitbit forum:

"We do not currently have plans to integrate with HealthKit… It is an interesting new platform and we will watch as it matures, looking for opportunities to improve the Fitbit experience."

I think this is a perfectly reasonable attitude. Healthkit was rushed and is still very buggy (just read the release notes of the latest Withings Health Mate update). Apple has also not communicated its plans for it well, and right now I can't see any benefits of using it (which will hopefully change in the future).

Anyway, I don't think not being sold in Apple stores will have a big impact on Fitbit. You can still buy their stuff everywhere, even at places like Walmart.
Rating: 7 Votes

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