Peloton responds to concerns over Apple GymKit integration

Third-party hardware integration can be a complicated thing. Peloton raised some eyebrows this week by dropping the Apple GymKit adjustment for its bike Bootcamp program. Users responded naturally.

The situation left some wondering whether the move was a direct response to Apple’s recent entry into the home exercise market, including Fitness +. A Peloton representative told TechCrunch: “Apple GymKit is designed to work with equipment-based cardio workouts. However, Peloton recently implemented GymKit with bike Bootcamp, a multi-branched class type that combines strength and cardio, which does not support the feature. Members can only use GymKit to synchronize workouts from bike to their Apple Watch for cycling.” 

The comments seem to reflect a larger problem, including the implementation of its initial GymKit. Designed with the gym in mind, Apple’s program involves specific practice tools. In other words, use integration with the treadmill and the watch will work specifically on tracking run metrics. Use it with a bike and it tracks cycling. A program as if bike Bootcamp complicates things and ads to the mixes like weightlifting. The implementation was probably outside the third party guidelines around implementing GymKit.

The big problem for Peloton owners was that the GymKit was an early differentiator between standard Peloton bikes and Bike + – two products, including the $500 Gulf. The truth is, for the time being, working together is still net positive for both parties. Apple may have its own fitness platform, but Peloton has a huge footprint – it probably has a significant overlap with Apple Watch users.

The big problem for Peloton owners was that the GymKit was an early differentiator between standard Peloton bikes and Bike + – two products, including the $500 Gulf. The truth is, for the time being, working together is still net positive for both parties. Apple may have its own fitness platform, but Peloton has a huge footprint – it probably has a significant overlap with Apple Watch users.

The GymKit may have evolved with the gym in mind, but people have not visited the gym too much in the past year, and there is a reasonable expectation that the industry may never fully recover. As part of Peloton, it is best to play well with companies that dominate the smartwatch segment.