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Nike is working with Apple to expand the digital frontier of wearables

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Nike CEO hints at a closer relationship

Although Nike seemingly abandoned future FuelBand hardware, the company is working closely with Apple to advance wearables overall. In an interview with Bloomberg News, Nike CEO Mark Parker says he is "bullish" on the company’s relationship with Apple. "As I look ahead at what's possible with Nike and Apple...technologically we can do things together that we couldn't do independently," explains Parker. "So yeah, that's part of our plan, is to expand the whole digital frontier in terms of wearables and go from...25 million Nike+ users to hundreds of millions."

While Parker doesn’t commit to any direct hardware work with Apple, his desire to grow the Nike+ user base hints at Nike’s plans to dominate fitness tracking as a service rather than device sales. Nike has always had a close relationship with Apple, supporting iPods and iPhones with Nike+, and now the upcoming Apple Watch. Apple even hired Nike’s former design director last year to work on wearable devices ahead of last month’s Apple Watch unveiling. Discussing the future of wearables, Parker says future hardware will be "more stealth, more integrated, more stylish, and more functional."