Regarding Nike’s Decision to Forgo Android Support in New FuelBand

Roger Cheng, writing for CNet, “Nike’s No-Android Stance on FuelBand Is a Huge Mistake”:

It’s a glaring omission that Nike still doesn’t offer support for Android, which is the undisputed mobile platform champ with 80 percent of the global market. At a time when more developers are looking to expand the number of platforms they are on, Nike has stubbornly clung to its comfort zone and stayed with iOS.

600 words into the article:

Bluetooth support is also an issue. The new FuelBand SE also runs on the newer Bluetooth 4.0 standard, which hasn’t really yet been embraced by the Android community and was only recently officially supported by Android in version 4.3.

In comparison, Apple’s iPhone 4S and later all support the standard, which allow for simpler, longer, and more power-efficient connections between devices.

So even if you want to argue on market share alone (which is a terrible idea, but let’s go with it), Android may well account for 80 percent of the world smartphone market, but it accounts for only a small slice of the Bluetooth 4.0-capable smartphone market. Cheng is effectively arguing that Nike should have: (a) used magic to make the new FuelBand work with most Android phones in use; or (b) designed an entirely different device that could work with most Android phones in use; or (c) spent the effort to support the Android phones that do support Bluetooth 4.0. None of those options suggests that keeping the FuelBand iOS-only is a “huge mistake”.

Thursday, 17 October 2013