Former smartphone maker Nokia has announced plans to acquire healthcare device manufacturer Withings. The French firm specialises in making smart scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, and home monitoring devices; all of which will soon be part of Nokia’s Technologies business.
It also recently entered the wearables department, with the introduction of the Activité range of smartwatches. Unlike other smartwatches, the Activité has a replaceable coin battery commonly found in normal watches, giving it up to eight months of battery life. Users can track their steps, sleep and other activities via the Withings app.
“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. “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 announcement makes it look like Nokia is preparing to enter the Internet-of-things business with a focus on an integrated healthcare ecosystem. The IoT is expected to become big business, with multiple large corporations investing resources into catering to the billion dollar market. Nokia, it seems, is interested in getting a piece of the action as well.
Nokia is expected to pay some EUR 170 million (about RM751 million) for Withings, with the deal scheduled to conclude in the third quarter of this year.