Nike: Sportband release no sign of Apple rift

Despite any suggestion to the contrary, Nike’s official announcement today of the Nike+ Sportband—a new watch-like accessory that works without the iPod nano—does not represent a break between the shoe maker and Apple. Similar in appearance to the company’s earlier Amp bracelet for the iPod nano, Sportband allows runners to track distance, pace, time and calories burned when they run, and also allows their training data to be loaded onto a computer and uploaded to nikeplus.com, using a USB plug-in rather than an iPod as a data conduit. The similarities in functionality between the Nike + iPod Sport Kit and the Sportband have led some to suggest that there might be a rift between Apple and Nike, which Nike denied in a statement to iLounge today. “Absolutely not… we are simply expanding our Nike+ arena of products to allow those runners/walkers who do not want to use music to experience Nike+ and nikeplus.com,” answered Nike’s Kerry Sobol when asked if the release meant the end of Nike and Apple collaboration. “We are still very much working with Apple daily.”

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