This is was hardly a surprise that Nokia was purchasing the fitness maker, the announcement was made by Nokia in April when they told the press and stockholders that it was getting into the fitness tracking game but the deal wasn’t expected to be finalized until Q3, well it’s done today.
Withings co-founder moves to Nokia
Nokia’s new Digital Health business will now be run by the former Withings CEO and co-founder Cedric Hutchings. It’s being reported that he will answer to the president of Nokia’s R&D and IP licensing division, Ramzi Haidamus. Given that he was not just the CEO at Withings but the co-founder, the move makes quite of bit of sense for Hutchings and Nokia.
Nokia seems to have designs well beyond Fitbit and other companies with mere fitness tracking devices but is looking for its Nokia Technologies division to enter the “preventive health and patient care” arena.
Withings has a number of fitness tracking devices including its range of fitness tracking watches under the label Activité as well as their sleep, step and swimming tracker the Go but the company has also developed Wi-Fi connected scales and thermometers as well as a wireless blood pressure monitor.
“This is the beginning of an exciting new chapter in the history of Nokia Technologies as we extend our product portfolio to include a series of powerful digital health technologies,” added Haidamus after initially calling is “huge opportunity” when talking about Nokia’s move into the health arena. Having shed its mapping business and handset business Nokia was largely focused on licensing its wealth of patents, backhaul technology and its biggest money maker..networking.
Nokia announced a licensing arrangement with another Finnish company in May that will see Nokia return to consumer electronics with a line of smartphones and tablet once again seeing the Nokia name on them.
After shedding itself of its handset business in recent years it is a bit surprising to see the company return to a fairly low margin business.
Whether that pans out or not Nokia clearly sees room in the medical field.