Tuesday 26 April 2016 8:54 am

Nokia is getting into wearables with €170m deal for Withings

Nokia is making a move into wearables, announcing plans to buy up french tech company Withings.

The now mobile-free Nokia (after selling that part to Microsoft), is zoning in on the world of digital health tracking technology with the €170m deal.

"We have said consistently that digital health was an area of strategic interest to Nokia, and we are now taking concrete action to tap the opportunity in this large and important market," said Nokia president chief executive Rajeev Suri. 

"With this acquisition, Nokia is strengthening its position in the Internet of Things in a way that leverages the power of our trusted brand, fits with our company purpose of expanding the human possibilities of the connected world, and puts us at the heart of a very large addressable market where we can make a meaningful difference in peoples' lives."

Health tracking devices have become increasingly popular, with Fitbit and Jawbone the highest profile firms to emerge in the space. 

More than 78m wearable devices were sold last year, including the Apple Watch, a rise of 172 per cent on last year, according to research from IDC.

Founded in 2008, Withings is best known for its Activite smartwatch activity trackers, but also makes devices such as blood pressure monitors and scales as well as several apps.

We’ve been impressed with the plans the Nokia team has shared with us both for Preventive Health and Patient Care," said Withings chief executive Cedric Hutchings.

"As soon as we close the deal, we can start working together to determine our way forward as one team with a broad but focused portfolio of incredible products and innovations."

The cash deal is expected to close in the third quarter.