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Nokia may dump its health tech business

Nokia may dump its health tech business


The company has launched a ‘strategic review’ after writing down $164 million on its purchase of health startup Withings

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Nokia Withings products
A selection of Nokia-branded health tech products.
Image via Nokia

Has Nokia had enough of the health tech world? Just two years after entering the industry with its $190 million purchase of French company Withings, the company has announced it’s launching a “strategic review of its digital health business.” A terse blog post said the firm was considering its “strategic options” with regards to health care, and that this “may or may not result in any transaction or other changes.”

So, plenty of clear guidance there.

What this means exactly isn’t 100 percent clear, but reviews like this don’t happen when everything is peachy. Nokia has had more than a few difficulties with its Withings purchase, ranging from product woes (including backlash over its redesign of the Withings health app, and the withdrawal of experimental features from its smart scales) to financial troubles. Most significantly, it announced a write-down of goodwill relating to the Withings purchase worth €141 million ($164 million) last October, meaning it had substantially overestimated the value of the company’s assets.

Nokia’s enterprise sales are still strong, though. Its multinational telecoms business makes up the bulk of its annual revenue, worth around €23 billion, and it has a deep bench of lucrative technology patents.

But finding new revenue streams in consumer tech doesn’t seem to be working for the firm. Just last year it killed off its Ozo virtual reality camera project, cutting 310 jobs in the process. News of this latest strategic review was accompanied by more than 400 job losses. It seems Nokia’s health business might be at death’s door.