With Apple Watch Series 2, Apple really began pushing the health and fitness benefits of wearing the device. The company even announced a partnership with Nike at its iPhone event last month, but runners had to wait to snag the special edition of the Series 2. The Nike-branded Apple Watch Series 2 is finally arriving in stores this Friday, Oct. 28.
The Nike+ edition has a lot in common with the standard Series 2. This special edition version is water-resistant up to 50 meters and has GPS for accurate swim- and run-tracking. It also has the powerful processor and ultra-bright display that make the Series 2 a solid upgrade from the original Apple Watch. And it’s the same price as the Series 2: $369 for the 38mm model and $399 for the 42mm.
But there are a few differences that might make the Nike+ edition worth buying, particularly for runners. The watch is deeply integrated with Nike’s popular Nike+ Run Club app, with social features so you can compete with friends, an easily accessible overview of your running data, and a run scheduler to remind you when it’s time to lace up your sneakers and hit the pavement. There are also three custom watch faces that put fitness front and center with activity rings, a stopwatch, weather, and heart rate. The watch comes in two colors, space gray and silver aluminum.
The Nike model also comes with a specially designed perforated version of the fleuroelastomer Sport band for ventilation, which comes in four colorways: black and volt (a neon chartreuse shade), white and volt, black and cool grey, and silver and white. Unfortunately, those bands are only available with the Nike+ edition of the Series 2, but Apple should consider selling them as a stand-alone accessory. If you work out with the Apple Watch Sport band, you probably already know how sweaty your wrist gets. Some perforations would go a long way toward alleviating that grossness.
Other than Nike+ watch faces and special bands, the Nike version of the Apple Watch isn’t wildly different from the Series 2, which has already been available for a month (and we’re loving it). But for runners who want something a little extra, the Apple Watch Nike+ edition might be just the ticket. The new watch will be available in Apple stores, select Nike retail stores, on Apple.com and Nike.com, and at Macy’s and Dick’s Sporting Goods locations around the the world. Check here for local availability on Friday.
Why this matters: Apple is looking for the Series 2 and the Nike+ edition to boost Apple Watch sales, which fell 72 percent in the third quarter of 2016 over the same quarter in 2015, according to a new smartwatch report from IDC. The overall smartwatch market contracted by 51.6 percent due to lack of new devices. IDC expects Apple to rebound in the fourth quarter now that Series 2 is on the market, the price point is lower with the launch of Series 1, and watchOS 3 offering more features than older versions of watchOS. If Apple’s watch sales don’t rebound, it signals that people just don’t want an iPhone on their wrist.
This story, "Apple Watch Nike+ hits the ground running on Oct. 28" was originally published by Macworld.