Nokia this morning announced it will buy French health tracking company Withings for an estimated $192 million, as the company seeks to re-establish itself in the consumer electronics market.
Withings makes iOS-compatible smart connected home products as well as a range of health and fitness wearables such as the Go activity tracker and its stylish Activité smartwatch range. The company's products sync with its Health Mate iOS app, which lets users track their activity, weight, and food consumed, and interact with friends to reach fitness goals, among other features.
Nokia has focused on its network equipment business and commercial VR solutions since it sold its mobile division to Microsoft in 2013. The Finnish firm's most recent high-profile product announcement was its $60,000 Ozo VR capture camera aimed at the film industry, but the latest announcement marks a significant shift for the company as it looks to expand into consumer digital health and the Internet of Things sector.
President and CEO of Nokia Rajeev Suri commented on the acquisition in a press release announcing the move.
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. 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.
The acquisition will see Withings' 200 employees integrated into Nokia Technologies when the deal goes through later in the year.