Okay. Peloton sells a very famous exercise bike with streaming workouts, an app and a whole fitness lifestyle.
Apple sells a very famous smartwatch with heart rate tracking, apps and the ability to sync with fitness equipment through its own Apple system called GymKit.
The standard Peloton bike costs $ 1,895 and does not work with GymKit; the enthusiast Bike Plus, which works with GymKit, costs $ 2,495.
Many people bought the more expensive bike to use with their Apple Watches instead of GymKit! And yesterday, all those people were shocked to learn that Peloton had turned off Apple Watch integration for ‘bike boot camp’ classes, which combine cycling with strength training. (The integration still works fine with regular old bikes, but you understand again that Peloton is a complete fitness living situation.)
In yesterday’s Platoon statement, a spokesman placed the blame firmly on Apple for this The edge that “Peloton is committed to bringing the GymKit integration to all workouts and disciplines within Apple’s terms of service(Emphasis ours).
Predictably, this led to a lot of confusion. Since Apple’s terms of service for GymKit aren’t public, it wasn’t clear what terms Peloton had violated, and generally speaking, “using your expensive smartwatch to sync your heart rate to your expensive stationary bike” isn’t the kind of thing that should be require contract negotiations between large companies. And it is clear that Apple runs Apple Fitness Plus, a direct competitor to Peloton, and has no problems with heart rate tracking based on corporate politics. (And of course Platoon bought Atlas, that’s … a smartwatch company.)
Regardless, the huge group of wealthy people who own both an Apple Watch and a Peloton Bike Plus is annoying a bad idea, so Peloton has a new statement today clarifying what’s going on. Here it is:
Apple GymKit is designed to work with equipment-based cardio training. However, Peloton recently implemented GymKit with Bike Bootcamp, a multidisciplinary class type that combines strength and cardio, which does not support the feature. Members can still use GymKit to sync their bike-only workouts to their Apple Watch from the Bike +.
So basically the Apple Watch doesn’t support switching from cycling to weightlifting in one workout. Fair enough. That said, if people want to use their Apple Watch in crazy, off-label ways, it’s weird that Apple is stopping them this way, isn’t it? And certainly adding a ‘bike boot camp’ training mode to the Apple Watch fitness app would be relatively easy for Apple, the company that makes the Apple Watch.
In short, Apple retains iron control over its devices and the things associated with it through its secret accessory contracts, and if anyone would send me those contracts, our Securedrop will work again.