If you’ve been keeping up with recent Apple advertising, you will have noticed that the consumer electronics giant is currently pushing the fitness measuring capabilities of the iPhone 5S extremely strongly. There is a reason that Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) is pouring money into talking up the functionality of a device which is certain to take a bit of a backseat in the near future. And that’s because Apple will place a large amount of focus on fitness tracking in its next generation of mobile products.
iOS 8 and iPhone 6 to have health emphasis
The sports and fitness industry is a massive one, with estimates indicating that the global fitness industry accounts for a staggering $49 billion. Fitness is then obviously a potential revenue stream that both Apple and Samsung have recognised as being potentially profitable. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear range of smartwatches have placed a significant amount of emphasis on fitness tracking capabilities. Now Apple is intending to answer that directly by placing such functionality at the core of both the iPhone 6 and the new iOS 8 operating system.
Apple may also have been paying heed to a report from the analytics firm Flurry. It suggests that health and fitness apps are exploding on Apple’s App Store, which may have contributed to Apple’s apparent strategy for the iPhone 6 and the mooted Apple iWatch. According to Flurry, the 6,800 apps Apple offers in the health and fitness category have grown in usage by nearly 2/3 during the last calendar year; nearly double the rate of all other apps.
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The success of Apple’s health apps was picked up strongly by the media at the time of the release of this report, and it seems certain that this has contributed to the direction of both iOS 8 and the iPhone 6.
Thus, Apple is already preparing consumers for a strong emphasis on fitness in both iOS 8 and iPhone 6. iOS8 will be released with a Health App which Apple purports will provide consumers with “an easy-to-read dashboard of your health and fitness data.”
Apple to target pro sports
While there is a strong consumer element to this particular decision, it is also thought that Apple will particularly target the next generation of its products at sports professionals. In professional sports today, the ability to gauge, measure and analyse player performance is already critical, but the potential to do this may even begin to influence the approach to amateur sports. With iOS 8 and iPhone 6, Apple intends to provide consumers with the ability to obtain biofeedback and personal performance measurement; meaning that constant access to personal trainers will become a moot point.
While there will always be a role for human contact within fitness training, it is clear that with iOS 8 and iPhone 6 that Apple is trying to create a collaborative device, one that can really enhance an individual’s fitness training. With Apple apparently intending to release an iPhone 6 that is effectively a reboot of the entire device, it will be intriguing to see what Apple unveils ahead of its expected September release.