iOS-compatible smart bathroom scales, thermometers, fitness watches and other HomeKit-enabled smart accessories by French health tracking company Withings have been removed from both online and brick-and-mortar Apple Stores following the latest legal spat with Nokia.
Wait, what do Withings products have to do with the Nokia patent row, you ask. Well, Nokia bought Withings in April 2016 for a reported $192 million, integrating their products into its Digital Health unit led by former Withings CEO Cedric Hutchings. The removal was first reported by MacRumors.
Nokia announced on Wednesday that it has filed a number of complaints against Apple in Germany and the United States, alleging that its products infringe on Nokia patents. The company says it reached the decision to take action after several years of trying to reach an agreement with Apple to cover the use of its intellectual property.
iPhone manufacture and the world’s largest contract fabricator, Foxconn, has made an interesting purchase, snagging the Nokia feature phone business from Microsoft for a paltry $350 million with a little help from private equity backed HMD Global.
Nokia’s feature phones, which are powered by the Series 30+ operating system, once were its bread and butter—especially in pre-smartphone days.
Nokia said this morning that it’s buying French health tracking company Withings for a reported €170 million, or about $192 million, as it looks to gain a foothold in the competitive digital health market.
Withings, which designs, builds and sells wearables with health and fitness tracking features, as well as devices for the connected home such as smart weighing scales, thermometers, blood pressure monitors, home and baby monitors and so forth, will become part of Nokia’s Technologies business.
Nokia, once the dominant force in the mobile industry, has sold off its prized HERE maps division to a German carmaker consortium comprised of Audi, BMW and Daimler, technology blog Re/code reported this morning.
The $3.07 billion transaction (2.8 billion euros) is pending regulatory approval and should be completed in the first quarter of 2016. The deal is meant to “secure the long-term availability” of HERE maps as an open platform, as per a media release.
News of the deal arrives following months of speculation that a bunch of Silicon Valley technology giants were interested in a takeover bid, including ride sharing service Uber, as well as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Baidu and others.
While Nokia would prefer to sell out its mapping division to Apple, no offer has arrived yet from the iPhone maker for the competitive service, called Nokia Here.
Be that as it may, a window of opportunity has now opened for Uber, a privately-held transportation service, which has reportedly submitted a $3 billion offer for Nokia Here, The New York Times said Friday citing three people with knowledge of the offer.
But Nokia has other big name suitors lined up as well, including one from a powerful consortium made up of Chinese web services company Baidu and automakers BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. It’s unclear whether Apple, whose own mapping service relies heavily on third-party data, is still in the running.
Do you remember playing the old-school Snake from Nokia phones? First released in the late 1990s on the Nokia 6110, this innovative, all-consuming game with monochrome graphics and stupendously simple concept of not crashing the snake while trying to eat fruit is a testament of timeless design. Now Snake’s original creator Taneli Armanto has teamed up with Rumilus Design to bring back the joy of the classic game in a modern take on Snake.
Titled Snake Rewind, the game is scheduled to hit iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms globally on next Thursday, May 14, 2015.
Bloomberg reports that Apple is among the list of companies Nokia is hoping will purchase its struggling HERE Maps, as it seeks to cut divisions that are losing money.
According to the publication’s anonymous source, Nokia is seeking more than 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) from a sale of the unit. It’s selling HERE Maps for the “ubiquity and utility” of its location-based services.
HERE Maps had been available in the App Store briefly before it got pulled in December 2013 because “iOS 7 ruined the experience”. Nokia later admitted the app was “a rushed product” that “went horribly wrong” because it was “never thoroughly proven.”
The Finnish firm has now officially confirmed that HERE Maps will return to the iPhone in early 2015 following today’s release of HERE for Android and a relaunch of a new web-based experience over at here.com.
“Our iOS app development team is working hard on this and we plan to officially launch HERE for iOS in early 2015,” said the team. The revamped iOS navigation app will be joining several big-name mapping products in the App Store from the likes of Google, Garmin, TomTom and many more.
Friday, Windows giant Microsoft published a new Apple-bashing ad on its YouTube channel.
The 30-second television commercial shows off the latest version of Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like personal assistant, running on the Lumia 830 and interacting with a bunch of built-in applications.
Cortana amusingly brags to Siri about being able to perform functions Apple’s personal assistant can’t, like alert users to leave early for an appointment using traffic alerts, remind them of things based on who calls or texts and more.
Nokia rejoined the world of consumer electronics on Monday, after selling its devices unit to Microsoft last year. The Finnish-based company announced the Nokia N1, an iPad mini-clone featuring a strikingly familiar 7.9-inch screen, 2048×1536 resolution, and aluminum design. The N1 will be released in China early next year for $250, undercutting the iPad mini prices heftily.
Nokia executive Sean Fernback told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the Finnish telecommunications company will be releasing a brand new cross-platform mobile navigation app for the iOS and Android platforms later this year.
Nokia, which sold off its handset division to Microsoft, kept its Here mapping service. The forthcoming GPS navigation app would be unique in that both the maps themselves and searches would work without an Internet connection.