During Apple’s iPad and Apple Watch event on Tuesday, the company announced a new service coming to its suite of offerings — Apple Fitness+. In short, Fitness+ is a workout service that integrates the Workouts app in your Apple Watch directly with an on-screen guided workout session on your iPhone, iPad, or Apple TV. Aside from the integration with the Apple Watch, that sounds a lot like what Peloton has spent years building.
With Fitness+ arriving as the only real competitor to Peloton, how do the two services stack up?
Both Apple Fitness+ and Peloton Digital bring you the ability to tune in to workout sessions on the device of your choice, for the most part.
Fitness+ will launch on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV and work seamlessly with an Apple Watch, including on-screen displays of your workout session. This is great news for Watch owners, since using at Apple’s wearable already means you are very likely using one of those three viewing options. An addition that adds significant value is support by Apple TV, which will likely be the preferred way to tune in to workouts at home.
Peloton has a much more diverse way to tune into programs. Not only are they available on iOS like Fitness+, they also are available via the Google Play Store for Android devices. Also, Peloton creates a host of at-home workout devices, such as the flagship Peloton bike and the Peloton treadmill, both of which come with integrated screens. Peloton also has the TV covered thanks to the recent launch of the Peloton Roku app.
If you’re trying to compare the total number of ways to tune in to either service, Peloton might have access to more mobile device screens thanks to their Android app support. That said, Peloton’s Roku app is only available in the United States right now, while Apple TV is an app available on multiple devices including Roku. Right out of the gate, Apple is strongly positioned to take a bite out of Peloton’s living room presence.
Apple doesn’t appear to be getting into the home gym equipment market, so Peloton’s treadmill and bike will still steal the show for someone wanting an all-in-one device for working out at home.
However, if you don’t mind tuning into a workout via your television or your tablet, Peloton’s digital service has competition from Fitness+.
Peloton lags behind Apple when it comes to tracking the workout. If you’re not using a Peloton treadmill or bike (and even if you are), Peloton simply does not have the ability to track a ton of personal workout information while streaming. The Peloton bike lets you to track heart rate and calories, for example, but won’t give that option to anyone not using the company’s extremely expensive flagship hardware.
On the flip side, using Apple Workouts pretty much necessitates that an Apple Watch is used. The Apple Watch is far more capable of tracking the specifics of your workout than anything Peloton can offer at this time.
Peloton is going to have an uphill battle attempting to convince die-hard Apple Watch fans that its service is superior to Fitness+ when they won’t be able to integrate the satisfaction of closing those rings.
Apple Fitness+ is launching with nine studio workouts: Cycling, Treadmill, Rowing, HIIT, Strength, Yoga, Dance, Core, and Mindful Cooldown. Those workout categories will each receive fresh workouts from instructors weekly, though Apple did not mention any live workout sessions in their presentation or press materials.
Peloton Digital currently has more than 10 workout types on demand. Strength training, yoga, outdoor running, indoor running, stretching, cycling, bootcamp, and meditation among them. Additionally, Peloton offers live-streaming classes in multiple categories, which gives the company the advantage in hyping up competition among those tuned into the broadcast.
Both the Apple Fitness+ and Peloton plans come at a similar price. The subscription service for Apple Fitness+ will be available for $10 per month, while Peloton Digital comes in at $13 per month. However, Apple Fitness+ gives you the option of paying a lump sum of $80 to use the service for a year, which earns you significant savings over both the Apple Fitness+ and Peloton monthly service plans.
There are more expensive options for each brand, too. For instance, Apple Fitness+ will be available in the Apple One Premier plan, which bundles together Apple Music, Apple TV+, Apple Arcade, Apple News+, and 2TB of iCloud storage for a monthly fee of $30. Meanwhile, the Peloton app can of course be paired with the company’s bike or treadmill, which retail for $2,250 and $2,450, respectively.
The less expensive news here is, you can try both apps for a month for free. In Apple’s case, if you buy an Apple Watch Series 3 or later, you get three months of Fitness+ for free. However, if you’re buying an Apple Watch Series 3 or later from Best Buy, it will come with six months of Apple Fitness+ for free. In both cases, Apple has offers that will add additional time to allow you to decide if the app is worth it for you.
It’s realistic to think there may not be much overlap between Apple Fitness+ users and subscribers to the Peloton app. Apple’s new fitness service seems designed to seamlessly integrate with existing iOS devices, which has been a staple of Apple products for years.
At the same time, it’s safe to assume that most Peloton subscribers will be at least partly invested in the high-end Peloton ecosystem. It’s also reasonable to assume those same customers may be more invested in fitness overall, giving Peloton the option to define itself as the go-to for “serious” fitness enthusiasts.
Still, Apple is making a statement with this new app. With its more affordable service, better tracking tools, and more economical supporting hardware, Apple Fitness+ isn’t a formidable new opponent to Peloton’s own fitness app. It’ll appeal to people who want to keep in shape and don’t want to spend a small fortune to do it. That, potentially, gives it broader appeal than Peloton.
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