According to a report by CNBC, Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) and Aetna Inc. (NYSE: AET) had several secret meetings last week, where the two discussed plans to bring Apple’s smartwatch, which has health and fitness-tracking features to millions of insured under Aetna.
Aetna is offers the Apple Watch to its 50,000 employees already, as part of its corporate wellness program. Now the two negotiate terms according to which Aetna’s 23 million clients across the country will be offered a free or discounted Apple Watch.
The report indicates that Myoung Cha, who works for Apple’s special projects, health division let the negotiations.
If successful, the deal will significantly increase sales of the Apple Watch, which has already surpassed Fitbit Inc. (NYSE: FIT) as the top wearable tracker. Apple Watch shipments grew nearly 60 percent year-on-year in the first quarter of 2017, while Fitbit device shipments fell 35 percent year-on-year.
"Fitbit is struggling in the face of growing competition from fitness-led Apple Watch and others and Fitbit's golden era has now come to an end," Neil Mawston, executive director at Strategy Analytics told CNBC.
Apple’s strategic push of its product with a major health insurer will further increase its popularity.