Thursday December 7, 2023

Apple’s Next Move

  • Apple launched Fitness+ in December.
  • The package integrates Apple Watch, Apple TV, Apple Music, and a workout video recommendation engine.
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Apple CEO Tim Cook wants you to take a break from the devices and move your body. 

“I really believe that if you zoom out to the future and then look back and ask, ‘What has Apple’s greatest contribution been?’ it will be in the health and wellness area,” Cook told Outside Magazine.

With gyms closed or limited, Apple is bringing the workout experience into homes through Fitness+, a subscription service it launched in December.

Fitness+ combines many of the tech giant’s hardware and software capabilities: Apple Watch’s heart rate monitor, Apple Music for playlists, iPads to present classes with workout data displayed natively.

“Never discount the amount of innovation that can be in the future,” Cook said. “To use a baseball analogy, we are in the early innings.”

Fitness hardware and subscriptions have seen impressive investor interest lately.

  • Lululemon acquired Mirror for $500 million last June.
  • Amazon, Stephen Curry and several other star athletes joined Tonal’s $110 million funding round in September.
  • Peloton went public at $27 per share in September 2019 and has seen its stock price reach as high as $171 since then.
  • Beachbody is going public via a SPAC with a nearly $3 billion dollar valuation.

So how does Apple prioritize turning off the screens when its products have largely enabled our dependence on them? Cook admits he doesn’t know, but is searching for a solution.

“We take the challenge to continue innovating in that space just as seriously as we take the challenge to keep innovating in each of the product categories we’re in,” he said.

Beyond workouts, a recent Mount Sinai study found the Apple Watch could detect heart rate variability changes that can help identify COVID-19 — a testament to the potential of Apple’s health and wellness ambitions.

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