Thanks to its partnership with a certain American jock Apple has already got one sweaty finger in the fitness market pie. But judging by six new patents it's filed the Cupertino giant is planning to go solo with its own version of the Nike+ system.
Apparently rooted in iTunes, the software starts with some 'how fat are you?' style questions and proceeds to build a personal training regime to burn off what you've passed off as your 'fleshly armour'. Whether or not this would work with the Nike foot sensor is unclear, but a Samsung/Adidas miCoach heart-rate monitor still makes no appearance in the plans.
Still, the workout schedules in the patents look more sophisticated than the 'run as far as you can' approach of Nike+. Each one is split into various sections including warm-ups, stretches and arcane practices like the 'back Superman', which you'd then sync to a device (which looks more like an iPod Touch than a Nano).
The next step can only be a firmware upgrade which sees your iPod refuse to turn on until you've run further than Forrest Gump.