Merchant Innovation

Nokia's Future Lies In Everything But Smartphones

Nokia Rethink Smartphone Focus

Drop a smartphone today and it's a legitimate nightmare - screens crack, cases get scuffed up and the entire device itself might just kick the bucket. It was a different story for Nokia's line of near-indestructible mobile phones in the '90s and early 2000s, though Nokia clearly has little interest in rekindling its glory years.

In an interview with ZDNet, Nokia's president of technologies Ramzi Haidamus explained how the company is committed to moving away from the mobile phone business that made it a household name. Instead, Nokia has been busy snatching up startups, like the French firm Withings, to help it pivot toward a critical new market: digital health.

"This is a vision that we've believed in and we've pursued, over the last two years," Haidamus told ZDNet. We've been developing [health] technology and solutions inside Nokia, experimenting both on the regulated and unregulated side of health, to see what we can bring to the market. As we developed some interesting technologies, it became clear that we were somewhat behind in the marketplace and we needed a partner that saw the world as we saw it. Acquiring Withings marked the start of the exciting new chapter in Nokia's history and makes Nokia a consumer brand once again."

Haidamus noted that Nokia doesn't harbor any ambitions toward becoming a pseudo-health provider, but the company will be lending its experience in product development and distribution to the health experts at Withings who will be "driving the bus without any ambiguity."

Bigger and better by any means seems to be the new mantra at Nokia, particularly when it comes to the company's plan to keep buying up startups that increase its flexibility in the digital health space.

"The definition of digital health is more about wellness and monitoring of where you live and where you work," Haidamus said. "That diversification sits within the digital health."

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