Nokia is ditching its health business a year after striking deal with Apple

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Nokia digital health
Nokia’s health devices could return to Withings.
Photo: Nokia

Nokia is in talks to sell the digital health business it acquired from Withings in 2016.

The Finnish firm paid $191 million for the company as it looked to do battle with the likes of Apple Health; now it looks like it could be returned to its original owner, Withings co-founder Eric Carreel.

Nokia‘s digital health devices returned to Apple stores last June, a month after the company settled a patent dispute with Apple. As part of the deal, Apple confirmed that it would purchase “certain network infrastructure products and services” from Nokia.

Now Nokia wants to exit the consumer market and “focus on becoming a business-to-business and licensing company,” securing more deals like the one it has with Apple.

Nokia in talks to sell health business back to Withings

Nokia has begun negotiations that could see its digital health business sold back to Eric Carreel. Google and Samsung both looked at the company, according to TechCrunch, but it’s unclear whether Nokia entered talks with them before returning to Carreel.

Nokia hasn’t stated how much it is asking for the business, but the final figure is unlikely to be anything near what the company paid for Withings in 2016. Sales have fallen in recent years, and Nokia has been forced to layoff employees as the business struggles.

The acquisition was supposed to kickstart Nokia’s new health push. It planned to use its digital health devices to collect heartrate, blood pressure, and weight data from users and use it  its own medical business, WellCare.

That obviously didn’t work out as planned. Nokia is now hoping that it conclude a sale late in the second quarter of 2018.