After spending $191 million to advance its wearables division, Nokia might be giving up on them completely

NokiaNokia’s Steel hybrid smartwatch.
  • Nokia has announced a “strategic review” of its digital health division, which includes smartwatches and smart scales.
  • The review comes less than two years after Nokia spent $US191 million to acquire Withings, a French electronics startup specializing in wearables.
  • Nokia also plans to cut more than 400 jobs in its home country of Finland.

Nokia is reconsidering the future of its wearables division.

The Finnish tech company announced on Thursday it would be initiating a “strategic review” of its digital health business, which includes smartwatches and fitness trackers, as well as smart scales.

While Nokia said the review may not result in any changes, it’s a worrying sign nonetheless for Nokia’s wearables business.

Nokia began expanding its digital health offerings in 2016when it bought Withings – a French company that made fitness trackers and smart bathroom scales – for $US191 million in cash. Withings was then folded into Nokia and renamed Digital Health.

But the business hasn’t seemed to take off. In the third quarter of 2017, Nokia wrote down more than $US175 million of goodwill on the business, and Nokia plans to cut more than 400 jobs in Finland this year, according to Reuters.

Overall, it’s a tough time to be in the wearables game: According to research firm eMarketer, wearables use will grow by only 11.9% in 2018 – with that growth rate slowing to single digits in 2019 and beyond.

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