Nokia is out from the smartphone market for now, but that hasn’t stopped it from making a move in VR, telecom and other ventures. Its latest move comes in the more traditional consumer market as it buys Withings S.A., a French digital health company with prowess in connected devices, namely accessories.
The deal is said to have cost the former Finnish giant $190 million and is expected to be closed by Q3 of 2016. By now, Withings is an established company in the fitness domain, with devices including wearables & fitness trackers, sleep trackers, blood-pressure monitors and scales.
The deal will allow Nokia to “lead the next wave of innovation in digital health”. It is also one of the company’s most decisive moves towards the Internet of Things yet, which it had already made clear in the past.
With its purchase, Nokia hopes to create a digital health strategy called WellCare, which will likely compete with existing ones such as Apple’s HealthKit. The program is centered towards providing deeper insight from the health devices to the patients. With the Withings deal, Nokia will get a head-start in the fitness market.
Nokia will also be making further steps in environmental monitoring and medical research, where it already faces a serious deficit compared to its rivals.
Whether the Withings name will continue, or is discarded in the favour of the much-recognized Nokia brand is yet to be seen. Brand awareness will certainly be a key as it is still not as commonly known as companies like Fitbit and Apple.
More details should be announced as the deal comes closer to completion.