As reported by our colleagues at Connect The Watts, Peloton yesterday started rolling out support for Apple Watch heart rate integration to its Bike and Tread products. In conjunction with this announcement, Peloton has also started selling Apple Watch bands featuring a prominent Peloton logo.
Could this be a sign that, despite being competitors in the subscription fitness industry, Peloton is looking to cozy up to Apple?
Following yesterday’s announcement of Apple Watch integration for Bike and Tread, Peloton updated its popular online Peloton Apparel online store with new branded Apple Watch bands created in collaboration with Groove Life. These bands have since sold out, but are designed in 40mm/41mm and 44mm/45mm sizes.
Peloton notes in the item description for these new watch bands that the release comes in conjunction with the new Apple Watch integration for Bike and Tread users.
Rep Peloton right on your wrist with our new watch bands made for Apple Watch. We’ve designed both of these bold styles to keep you looking fresh while you’re getting fit.
With just one tap on your Apple Watch, you can now track your performance during any Peloton workout on the Bike, Bike+, Tread or App. Learn more.
A sign of Peloton cozying up to Apple?
Up until this week, Peloton’s relationship with Apple was a mixed bag. Peloton’s Bike+ is one of the few pieces of home gym equipment that supports Apple’s GymKit integration, though the launch of the feature was marred with confusion and limitations. Peloton also received a brief shoutout during an Apple earnings call in the early days of the pandemic, with Apple noting that it worked with Peloton to set up technology for its “Live from Home” fitness classes.
Any company can make a band for the Apple Watch, but between these new bands and the new features for Bike and Tread users, it’s interesting to see Peloton fully embracing the Apple Watch as a platform. It’s especially notable given that Peloton and Apple are technically competitors, with Peloton offering its own streaming fitness service and Apple offering Apple Fitness+.
Some important context to this apparent shift in mindset by Peloton is that it recently shook up its leadership, with Barry McCarthy taking over as Peloton CEO. McCarthy, a former executive from Spotify and Netflix, seems keen on making major changes to improve Peloton amid its post-pandemic downturn.
Additionally, while Peloton has reportedly halted plans for acquisition, analysts have suggested that Apple could be an interesting suitor for the company. If, one day down the line, Peloton does decide to explore an acquisition, being a friendly adopter of the Apple Watch platform could help its negotiations with Apple.
Only time will tell if Peloton is really committed to becoming a friendly partner of Apple. In the meantime, it’s good to see Apple Watch users benefiting from changes under the company’s new leadership.
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