Nokia may no longer be a phone manufacturer, but part of the mythical Finnish company that continued to devote itself to consumer electronics after selling its mobile division to Microsoft. One of the bets of this Nokia were health devices. However, it has failed again.
It was the year 2016 when Nokia bought Withings for 191 million dollars. A year later, Withings ceased to exist and all its products (Steel and Steel HR Smartwatches …) went on to use the Nokia brand. It was not an easy market, but the Finnish had a plan: to improve the experience of using these health accessories with new software that would offer customized training plans for users.
Judging by an internal memo leaked by The Verge , those efforts have not been very useful. In it, Kathrin Buvac, director of strategy at Nokia, says that “the company’s digital health business has struggled to scale and meet its growth expectations,” but adds: “Instead of falling in love with our technology, we must be honest. with ourselves. Currently, we do not see a way for [Nokia Health] to become a significant part of a company like Nokia. ”
Although Buvac does not clarify if Nokia will definitely close its digital health division, things do not look good. Products like this sophisticated smart thermometer or the Nokia Steel HR , a beautiful watch with activity meter and heart rate, never received the attention they deserved. And other more recent inventions such as Nokia Sleep – a deep sleep tracking pad, snoring detector and blood pressure monitor – do not seem to be the solution that Nokia Health needs.
In short, Nokia still does not reach the final consumers in the era of smartphones. Unless we take into account the business of licensing its brand to other manufacturers, something that is not bad for it. HMD Global sold 4.4 million phones in the fourth quarter of 2017, according to Counterpoint Research . These figures are far from those 120 million units that Nokia came to place on the market each quarter, but put its brand ahead of other companies such as Lenovo, Sony and HTC. And things could improve in 2018 with the new HMD catalog .
For the rest, the Nokia that survives after the sale to Microsoft is still a network and telecommunications company, a robust business that is also declining: its revenues fell 9% last quarter due to the fierce competition of Huawei in China and Ericsson in Europe. There are already some who predict a merger between Nokia and Ericsson for the greater good.