Apple to Challenge Big Names in Fitness

The team at Apple loves innovation, and they love a challenge, so it’s no surprise that the company recently announced plans to attack a new market segment: fitness. Using the Apple smartwatch as the lynchpin of its efforts, Apple announced plans to launch a new subscription service called “Fitness+,” which will help users track their progress using their smartwatch.

As with other popular fitness company subscriptions, Apple’s fitness program will feature a “variety of workout videos” that reportedly will include popular workout programs including yoga, strength training, and dance videos. These programs will be available to view on all Apple handsets and mobile devices and Apple TV.

The Fitness+ program will integrate Apple Music so that users stay motivated and connected during workouts. According to a recent press release, “new videos will be added each week.” This feature should be a strong selling point for people who want a new workout routine but are growing bored with what’s being offered. While Apple is getting into the game later than some others, the fact that many people are still at home and actively looking for an at-home fitness routine should help the brand find people willing to give their service a shot, especially if they have the promise of regular new options.

Market analysts have called Apple’s deeper foray into the fitness marketplace an “evolution” in the company’s approach to the fitness space. While consumers are accustomed to using the Apple smartwatch to track their personal fitness, they can now combine these features with Apple’s Fitness+ options to manage their personal health goals, follow daily workouts, and track their progress.

And, of course, the programs come with something many Apple fans appreciate: a closed system. Using the Apple watch with Fitness+ gives people workout options and fitness tracking interface through a single, easily-integrated pool of software and services.

Of course, just having integrated systems and updated content does not guarantee success. Apple will be going up against some very well-established and well-funded competition in this market segment. Brands like Peloton and Mirror have strong, dedicated customer bases, so Apple will have to work hard to lure people away or find a way to carve out a new customer base out of people interested in fitness who have yet to commit to a digital service. That’s no easy task, but it’s certainly not impossible.

Millions of people would work out if it was easier to track efforts and view results in real-time. If those people also have an Apple watch, they probably also have an iPhone or another Apple mobile device. For these people, all that’s left is for Apple to give them a compelling reason to give Fitness+ a try, which they can do with effective, compelling, and properly targeted fitness and consumer PR.