FROM THE ‘why can’t we have nice things’ department, it appears that Nokia is considering giving up on the health tech business it bought just two years ago.
Reuters reports that the company has launched a strategic review of the business unit created by the £150m acquisition of French company Withings, and has already made plans to cut over 400 jobs at its Finland HQ.
Nokia said that the review “may or may not result in any transaction or other changes”.
So that could mean discontinuing and dissolving the business, or selling it as an ongoing concern, presumably with yet another name change.
We’ve always championed Withings (now Nokia Health) as some of the best health kit out there, not least of all because of it manages to make watches that still look like watches.
At CES this year, it announced Nokia Sleep, a replacement for the Nokia Aura that has the added advantage of being able to control elements of your smart home via IFTTT, meaning that you can, for example, arrange for the lights to come on as you get out of bed, or trigger the kettle as you stir.
Whether that’s the end of the line remains to be seen, but the fitness market is proving challenging to the point of saturation, with Fitbit stock plunging during 2016, Jawbone going into liquidation and Misfit being swallowed up by Fossil. There’s no doubt that this is a market in flux, especially as there is so much love for the Apple Watch, which can do far more, and in many cases, better.
What is quite telling is that Nokia has already shed 310 jobs in the last six months after ditching its VR plans in a ‘slower than expected’ market. It said at the time it wanted to concentrate on health tech. Oops.
The move also has echoes of ‘other Nokia’s’ fate, when its device business was unceremoniously ditched by new owners Microsoft just two years after spending a huge amount of money on it. before killing it alongside Windows Mobile along with thousands of jobs. µ
Source : Inquirer