Apple has stopped selling Fitbit smart trackers on its online store and its multiple retail stores across the United States presumably because Fitbit refused to integrate its products with Apple's HealthKit platform.
Following an earlier report by Re/code that Apple will be taking off its retail shelves the $99 Fitbit Flex fitness band and the Fitbit One activity tracker that can be clipped to one's clothing, Apple has removed all Fitbit items from its online store and has stopped restocking its physical stores with all products from Fitbit. The move also very likely means that Apple will not be stocking up on the trio of new Fitbit products recently introduced, including the $250 Fitbit Surge smartwatch equipped with smartphone-free GPS tracking, Fitbit's closest competitor to the Apple Watch to be released next year.
The move is quite surprising, considering Apple used Fitbit products to showcase HealthKit when it presented the platform during this year's WorldWide Developer Conference. Apple did not provide a reason for removing Fitbit products from its stores, and Fitbit's statement did not directly acknowledge the removal, only saying that it looks forward to the holiday shopping season.
"As the #1 selling connected device with 69 percent year-to-date 2014 market share (source: NPD), Fitbit is currently sold in 46 countries and in over 37,000 retail stores, including Amazon, AT&T, Best Buy, Bloomingdales, Brookstone, Dick's Sporting Goods, Kohls, Microsoft Store, Nordstrom, REI, Target, The Sports Authority, Tory Burch, Verizon and Walmart," says Fitbit CEO and co-founder James Part in a statement sent to 9to5Mac. "Fitbit looks forward to a robust holiday season as the connected health and fitness category continues its rapid growth."
Apple, interestingly, continues to sell other fitness trackers that are equipped with support for Apple's HealthKit and the Health app for iOS 8, including the Jawbone UP and Jawbone UP24, Nike's FuelBand and Withings' Pulse fitness monitors. Fitbit, however, openly announced that it will not be supporting Health and HealthKit. At that time, Fitbit said it was evaluating HealthKit "as it matures" and was "working on other exciting projects that we think will be valuable to users."
Fitbit's own app charges users $50 to sync with other services and export data across devices, a feature that HealthKit and Health offers for free.
Last month, Apple also removed another competitor's products from its retail stores. Bose, which manufactures headphones in direct competition with the products made by Beats Electronics, saw its items taken down from Apple's shelves in October. Bose and Beats are currently wrangling in the courts over a patent relating to noise cancellation technology.