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.