A few minutes ago it was obvious the news with one of the most surprising acquisitions in recent months. Nokia announced the purchase of the French company Withings for 170 million euros in a deal that showed a curious interest in the Finnish firm by the segment of the wearables.
Nokia indicated that they had been time sending messages about how important that is for them the “digital health” segment, but the truth is that the operation is curious by the change of total focus that Nokia gives to your business. Abandon mobile and focus on the segment of telecommunications infrastructure, it has been to bet on personal quantifiers. Why?
Where has Withings come from?
This French manufacturer of gadgets is not a newcomer: seven years ago We began to talk about their products-“connected” scales, baby – monitoring devices but it was not until the DT bracelets quantifier that this firm began to reactivate its role in the market.
While some threw to manufacture smart watches and others betting on personal quantifiers, Withings did something that was a hybrid of both proposals. Your Withings Activité I wanted to try in bringing the best of both worlds and it became a different product which was the appearance and design of a traditional watch but with some of the functions of the quantifiers.
This commitment was reinforced with the Withings activité Pop, a review of the original model which among other things was cheaper: passed 390 euros for his older brother to the $149.
We analyze that model almost exactly one year ago and it was clear that this proposal was very interesting for its battery autonomy and the function of the Basic (but limited) quantification. Long signature not too renews its catalogue – released a version in your watch steel quantifier, Activité Steel – and now the question is to know what will Nokia do to join forces with this company.
Bid for wearables and health can be fine
The segment of “wearable” devices and their relationship with the environment of health and public health is one of those who have more projection of future. All the great technology they understand that such solutions can bring tangible benefits in our society, and have become the center of their product strategies.
Apple based precisely part of the future of their Apple Watch in this field: we’ve seen at various conferences where this product was highlighted by his collaboration with hospitals and health – related agencies evidenced CareKit and ResearchKit – to evaluate the advantages of this intelligent watch sensors could provide in various types of conditions.
In Google the same thing happens, and in fact this signature long tried to create a gigantic data base through Google Health, a project that died and that has made the internet giant is approaching this segment of a form of time most shy. Devices based on Android Wear they pay special attention to physical activity and not so much to the detection of potential problems, but it is clear the jump to a pure health orientation would be logical.
And while we have estimates of Gartner, who claims that wearables sales grow 18.4% in 2016 to become 274,6 million units. That data is included to smart watches, which sell 50.4 million units, and quantifier bracelets, which sell 34,97 million units this year. We do not know very well which of those two categories gets Gartner to watches Whithings quantifiers, but what is clear is that the growth in this field is significant.
Nokia is facing a fierce competition
Withings purchase allows you to Nokia entering that segment in which it appears guaranteed that there will be growth, but here remains to be seen what may be the proposal of this Alliance which is strange: Nokia left was fought your business mobile with Microsoft and devoted all his strength to compete in a very different market that was already present: telecommunications infrastructure.
In fact this diversification is particularly curious by that return to a consumer market which Nokia left to succeed years ago. It remains to be seen what the company does and how it affects Withings strategy both in design and production of devices, but what is clear is that he has a very difficult road ahead.
Especially since there are clear players that will be difficult to compete. Not only in the field of smart watches, where Apple and makers working with Android Wear-based devices pose a much more complete alternative to the “basic” quantifier. Also in the bracelets of pure quantifier that Fitbit continues to dominate with solvency but Xiaomi manufacturers also have parlayed strong sector.
It is clear that the growth of the market of the wearables and especially the enormous promise of a remarkable integration of health-related services could give much meaning to the decision by Nokia, but also that to emphasize will have to offer a really differential proposal. We’ll see how comes out it the move one brand that it seems not to want to say goodbye to the consumer market.
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