Nokia Is Buying Smartwatch Brand Withings

The mobile company is repositioning itself as a digital health brand

Remember Nokia? It’s certainly been a while since we’ve heard anything about the Finnish tech company that helped kick off the mobile-phone revolution in the 1990s. 

Well, Nokia sold its mobile business to Microsoft in 2014 and now is repositioning itself as a manufacturer of digital health products. The company announced that it will buy French wearable watch brand Withings for around $192 million (170 million euros). 

Withings, which makes one of my favorite wearables—the elegant Activité watch—specializes in connected watches but has in recent years moved away from high-end Swiss-made models to sportier styles. 



“We have said consistently that digital health was an area of strategic interest to Nokia, and we are now taking concrete action to tap the opportunity in this large and important market,” said Rajeev Suri, president and CEO of Nokia, in a company statement.

“With this acquisition, Nokia is strengthening its position in the Internet of Things in a way that leverages the power of our trusted brand, fits with our company purpose of expanding the human possibilities of the connected world, and puts us at the heart of a very large addressable market where we can make a meaningful difference in peoples’ lives.”   

Nokia’s smart to ride the health and fitness wave—mobile health is expected to experience tremendous growth and be the primary driver of wearable devices in the next decade. Withings has around 200 employees, and its full breadth of products includes activity trackers, weighing scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and home and baby monitors.

“Withings shares our vision for the future of digital health, and their products are smart, well designed, and already helping people live healthier lives,” said Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies, in the same statement. “Combining their award-winning products and talented people with the world-class expertise and innovation of Nokia Technologies uniquely positions us to lead the next wave of innovation in digital health.”

(Photos courtesy of Withings)



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