Nike's run-tracking app does have an Android version, but not the apps that connect with it, like the FuelBand SE. In an October TheNextWeb post, Paul Sawers called that a "glaring omission in Nike's technological armory" that made its wristband irrelevant to the 80% of potential customers who use Android, rather than iOS.
However, Stefan Olander, vice president of Digital Sport for Nike, told Sawers that so many Android devices run old versions of the operating system that there is no way to be sure a Nike wristband using the low-energy Bluetooth LE would work with whatever smartphone a Nike customer happened to have. "Right now, we don't believe the effort is worth the return for Bluetooth LE," Olander said. "And we want to do it really, really well for iOS."
The Huffington Post said the first version of Nike's FuelBand "changed the game" for fitness devices when it shipped two-and-a-half years ago. But users were disappointed that the FuelBand SE (unveiled in mid-October) didn't get a heart rate monitor, Android support, or a host of other features many had eagerly awaited.
The Fitbit Force bracelet, announced days before the FuelBand SE's debut, could track sleep, steps per day, distance covered, calories burned, floors climbed, and active minutes. It came with a list price of $129, compared to $149 for the FuelBand SE.
Last year, FuelBand held a 10% share of the smartphone-enabled fitness tracker market, versus 68% for Fitbit and 19% for Jawbone Up, NPD Group reported in January.
However, the market for $150 fitness trackers may be too small to hold Nike's attention. A February Nielsen survey of 471 American adults found that 70% are aware of wearable computing devices, but only 15% actually own one. Among the 15% who own a wearable device, 61% own a fitness tracker. And even though 62% of those who own a fitness tracker use it "often," only 28% said the device was worth the price they paid for it.