Withings, the French digital health company best known for its Pop and Activé smartwatches and its connected scale, is being bought by Nokia for about €170 million, the companies said this morning. Withings will be the basis for a Nokia Digital Health business, and the deal is expected to close in the third quarter of this year.
Nokia, of course, was far and away the worldwide leader in cell phones until it missed the transition to smartphones, and sold that part of its business to Microsoft. Today. Nokia is a communications infrastructure company with a division, Nokia Technologies, that licenses its brands and patents and also produces the Ozo VR camera. Withings will be part of the Nokia Technologies division, the companies said.
Given the state of Nokia’s consumer-facing product business, the Withings acquisition looks like something of a much-needed reboot for Nokia. It’s harder to see what this does for Withings, which has good products and strong distribution, other than cash out its investors. A press release quote from Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings, who will run the division at Nokia, was anodyne.