Layoffs at Nike’s FuelBand unit late last week took many by surprise prompting speculation that Apple (AAPL) may be working with Nike (NKE) on its much anticipated wearable fitness band and smartwatch hybrid.
In an interview on Friday, Nike CEO Mark Parker, while he stopped short of confirming Nike’s involvement with the tech giant, did note that Apple is a longtime partner.
“There’s been a lot of speculation, which I understand”, Parker said on CNBC. “I will just say the relationship between Nike and Apple will continue. And I am personally, as we all are at Nike, very excited about what’s to come.”
When asked if Nike would expand its partnerships with Apple, Parker replied:
“We have been working with [Apple] for a long time. We are excited about where that relationship will go forward.”
Commenting on Nike’s announcement that it plans to discontinue production of FuelBand, Parker said that going forward the sportswear company will be focusing more on the software side of the wearable fitness device market through its NikeFuel system rather than just hardware.
“We are focusing more on the software side of the experience…It will be integrated into other products that we create.”
Parker said that Nike has 30 million FuelBand users, and that the company wants to more than triple that number to 100 million, suggesting the sales of the wearable activity tracker won’t be ending just yet.