Apple Continues To Surprise No One, Officially Removes Rival Fitness Trackers From Stores

In a signal that the Apple Watch’s arrival is nigh, Apple’s retail stores across the country are apparently ditching other fitness and health wearables.

Re/Code reports that the tech company’s major retail stores in California and New York are no longer carrying rival wearables like the Jawbone Up and the Nike+ FuelBand.

Apple is currently getting ready for the April 24 launch of the Apple Watch, a personal fitness tracker that counts steps and other metrics.

The move to eliminate the competition comes several months after reports began surfacing that the company would stop selling other company’s wearable devices in its stores.

Back in November, Consumerist reported that Fitbit trackers disappeared from the company’s website, but were still in physical stores.

Re/Code reports that the fate of other trackers has been similar, with Mio – a heart-rate tracking device – only available in online Apple stores.

An executive with Mio tells Re/Code that she was notified a few months ago that Mio would be removed from Apple retail stores, but that the new watch wasn’t cited.

“They said they brought in a new executive in the marketing area who wanted to rework branding for the stores, and to make the Apple brand more front and center and clean up and minimize the number of accessories,” she says.

An Apple spokesperson didn’t specifically address the removal of rival wearables, but did tell Re/Code that it regularly evaluates and makes changes to its merchandise offerings.

The move to rid the Apple sales floor of competing products is fairly unsurprising considering the company did the same thing by removing Bose products from stores after the purchase of Beats.

Apple Stops Selling Jawbone Up, Nike FuelBand in Stores — Making Way for the Apple Watch [Re/Code]