Nokia couldn’t cut it as a manufacturer of professional VR cameras, and after just two years of trying, the Finnish telecommunications equipment and consumer electronics company is ready to admit defeat in the digital health arena as well.
That effectively ends the tech giant’s consumer hardware ambitions, as long as nothing gets in the way of a deal with Withings co-founder Éric Carreel, expected to close in “late Q2 2018” after certain “terms agreed in the negotiations” are met.
You’re probably familiar with Withings as the creator of the world’s first Wi-Fi body scale, as well as a number of popular activity tracking watches, blood pressure monitors and various other health-centric gadgets, which Nokia continued to sell under its own brand after acquiring the French business in 2016.
That obviously didn’t work out so great, and now Carreel is likely to regain ownership and control of the struggling “ecosystem of hybrid smart watches, scales and digital health devices” at a big discount.
The financial details of the new deal haven’t been disclosed yet, but it’s hard to imagine Nokia will be able to recoup the full $191 million spent on Withings after reporting modest $62 million digital health revenues last year.
Fitness trackers and wearables in general have seen their popularity steadily decline in recent years, with the notable exception of a certain fruit-flavored smartwatch family, but before reaching a preliminary agreement with Éric Carreel, Nokia reportedly spoke to Google and Samsung, which expressed interest in a similar deal. So, yeah, there might still be hope for this market after all.