Apple added the Nike+ FuelBand to its online store this morning, with two new colors and availability not only in the U.S., but in the U.K. and Canada, too. In addition to Apple Store shelves, the FuelBand will also be available via Nike’s online and physical retail stores in those countries in the new colors. For Canadians, this is the first time Nike’s fitness tracking accessory has been available domestically from a non-gray market source.
For those who aren’t familiar with the device, it’s designed to measure a wearer’s daily activity and produce a score, called NikeFuel, that represents how much they’ve accomplished throughout the day, regardless of activity type. You can also check out time, calories and steps for more traditional measures on the device’s digital readout, and use an iOS app to keep track of your progress as a whole. It works with the iPhone 4, 4S, and 5, as well as 3rd generation or later iPod touch devices.
The $150 (£129 in the U.K.) is designed to help Nike capitalize on the recent trend of personal activity trackers, including the Fitbit line and short-lived, but briefly popular Jawbone Up. While reviews of the FuelBand are mixed (many say it isn’t accurate enough for real training), it’s more aimed at providing a casual motivator for workouts than helping build a fitness regimen for professional athletes, and in that capacity, it seems to do fairly well.
Apple CEO Tim Cook seemed to be wearing a Nike+ FuelBand on stage at Apple’s recent iPad mini unveiling, perhaps foreshadowing today’s news. Whatever the case, the FuelBand and its popularity is good for Apple and the growing role of its devices as personal health and safety tools, so it makes sense to see it added to official Apple retail channels.