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Apple has hired a Nike consultant who played a major role in developing the sports giant’s hugely successful FuelBand, among a slew of other fitness apps and services.

Jay Blahnik confirmed to a friend on Twitter that he was joining the Cupertino company.

Replying to a message about whether his move to Apple was really happening, Blahnik wrote: “Yes, it is true! A wonderful and exciting opportunity”.

While no official announcement has been made, it’s likely that Blahnik will be working full-time on Apple’s much-vaunted iWatch.

Blahnik currently works as a consultant to major fitness companies, but by far his biggest client is Nike.

A bio on his personal website says: “Jay has been a Nike Elite Athlete and Nike consultant for almost 20 years. He worked closely with Nike on the launch of Nike+Running, which has become the largest digital running community in the world.”

But it’s his work on the Nike FuelBand that’s really set tongues wagging.

Tim Cook and Apple exec Bob Mansfield are both known for their love of the fitness watch device and Apple has been hiring staff with a fitness background to work on the iWatch, according to reports earlier this summer.

The iWatch is not expected to launch until late 2014.

That means Samsung and Sony are likely to have a free run in developing the developing smartwatch space before Apple makes its entrance. Samsung’s Galaxy Gear is due to be revealed at IFA next month.

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