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Nokia’s health business sold back to Withings co-founder

by Justin Herrick | May 4, 2018May 4, 2018 7:00 am EST

Nokia announced that it has sold its digital health division to an experienced name in consumer technology, and the new owner isn’t Google or Nest. The business is going back home.

The division that focuses on health-based hardware and software will soon belong to the very man who created it. Withings co-founder Éric Carreel reached a deal with Nokia to acquire assets he originally sold to the company back in 2016.

Both sides have been engaged in exclusive negotiations, and the deal should close by the end of the end of June.

Nest, which is Google’s brand for home automation products and services, expressed interest in the health business recently. While there may not have been an offer put on the table, Nest was at least considering picking up Nokia’s digital health division as it makes a bigger push into hardware.

More than 700 employees have been laid off by Nokia since late last year. The company launched a strategic review in February that examined how it could cut costs and reset its business model.

The idea of selling the assets brought in by Withings two years ago became apparent. Consumers didn’t purchase the activity trackers and scales in strong numbers, and medical customers stuck with other suppliers for their needs.

After the deal with Carreel is wrapped up, Nokia will continue advancing toward an all-licensing structure. Nokia is more interested in developing network technologies and giving its name to other companies for different types of products.

HMD Global, for example, holds the license to create Nokia-branded mobile devices.

The sale of the digital health division does not involve any licensing. Its new owners will be free to do anything with the assets, just under a different name.


Justin Herrick

Justin is easily attracted to power buttons. His interest in technology started as a child in the 1990s with the original PlayStation, and two...