The Apple Watch, its much-awaited wearable device, hits retail stores soon, and for selling it in large quantities, Apple is removing competing fitness bands from its retail stores. This does not come as a surprise because it has been observed that since last April, the company has been removing fitness tracking devices from its stores.

Apple Inc. Makes Way For Apple Watch, Dumps Jawbone Up, FuelBand

Removing fitness tracking devices

The two activity tracking wristbands, the Jawbone Up and Nike+ FuelBand, are no longer sold by the Apple Store as revealed by Re/code after a check at major stores in San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles and New York. Even Apple’s online store is not carrying the two wristbands. However, the wristwear Mio – used for tracking heart rate – is still available. The announcement for the watch was made by the company last fall, and since then, the iPhone maker has been removing Fitbit’s products from its stores.

The Apple Watch, which will be shipped on April 24, has been touted by the company as a personal fitness trainer that helps a user track important metrics which include heart rate, steps, etc. The Apple Watch ranges in price from $349 to $17,000, and pre-orders for the gadget will start April 10. The smartwatch is expected to be displayed in Apple’s retail stores by April 10, allowing users to try it before the April 24 launch.

Is Apple clearing out the competition?

Apple stores still offer a glorified clip-on pedometer, the Jawbone Move, but the Up24 wristband cannot be found. Apple informed chief executive and founder of Mio Liz Dickinson that they would be removing Mio from the Apple retail stores, but no reason related to the Apple Watch was cited by the company, according to Re/code.

“They said they brought in a new executive in the marketing area who wanted to rework branding for the stores, and to make the Apple brand more front and center and clean up and minimize the number of accessories,” Dickinson said.

The real reason, as is obvious, is to clear out the competition. Such moves from the iPhone maker are not new. Last fall, Apple removed Bose headphones from its stores around the time it acquired Beats Electronics, the maker of the Beats by Dre headphone line.