Could the iPhone become the most important companion to your members in the future? Apple certainly seems to be gearing its iPhone to go beyond a luxury item and become a necessity for almost every area of a person's life, including fitness and nutrition.
Apple recently applied for six patents, some of which involve applications that seem to expand upon the fitness applications of its already existing Nike+iPod system. (Apple even states on its Nike+iPod web page: “Meet your new personal trainer.”) Just think, your members could get workout suggestions from their iPhones. I don't think this will mean an end to personal trainers, but it will change the role of personal trainers and provide another tool for trainers to work with their clients.
Perhaps the biggest effect this may have on the industry will be for manufacturers who make devices or applications that do some of what Apple plans to do with the iPhone. Why would members buy several devices or applications when they already have an iPhone that does it all?
Polar has already begun working with Nike by offering its Wearlink heart rate monitor, which ties into the iPod. According to a blog report, Apple plans to announce partnerships with some fitness equipment manufacturers, including Life Fitness and Technogym, related to its iPhone applications.
It's perhaps best for club operators to take a look at what's coming your way and decide how best to incorporate these applications into your club, as some club operators and manufacturers are already doing.