By Craig Zammit

SYDNEY: Apple has joined Nike in a joint venture called Nike+iPod, which replaces a previous partnership the footwear manufacturer had with portable audio manufacturer Philips which ended in 2005.

Like the Nike Philips products, the Nike+iPod products also bring together joint marketing initiatives from sport and consumer electronics, but this time Apple iPod Nanos and Nike shoes can ‘talk’ to each other.

The new technology will see Nike+ footwear working together with iPod Nano’s through a wireless system which will relay information such as time, distance, calories burned and pace, as well as providing real-time audio feedback.

Apple CEO, Steve Jobs, and Nike CEO, Mark Parker, unveiled the Nike+iPod brand at an event held in New York, with seven-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong and marathon world record-holder Paula Radcliffe.

“Nike+iPod is a partnership between two iconic, global brands with a shared passion for creating meaningful consumer product experiences through design and innovation,” said Parker.

“This is the first result and Nike+iPod will change the way people run. Nike+iPod creates a better running experience, with many more such Nike+ innovations in the future.”.

Philips Electronics Australia senior corporate communications manager, David Wolf, said that while the partnership is no longer, the experience was a valuable one.

“It was a fantastic relationship which served both companies well at the time, it would be fair to say we both learned a lot from each other and benefited from each others expertise and brand recognition in various areas,” Wolf said.

Jobs believes the amalgamation of Nike with Apple will take music and sport to a new level

"The result (of the Nike+iPod product) is like having a personal coach or training partner motivating you through every step of your workout."

The Nike+iPod Sport Kit (RRP $49) will be released in early August and will be the first product to surface from the partnership. Consumers will be required to purchase Nike+ footwear with the Nike+ Air Zoom Moire currently the only footwear available in the range.

The two companies have plans to integrate the new technology into everything from specially designed Nike apparel, including jackets, tops and shorts to an iPod Nano armband.

A new Nike Sport Music section on the iTunes Music Store website is also planned, as well as the new personal service site, to help create and maximise the Nike+iPod experience.