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Report: Intel acquires smartwatch developer Basis for $100 million

Industry sources are reporting that Intel has purchased Basis, a health tracking smartwatch developer, for £100 - £150 million. Intel is finally making its move into wearables.
March 5, 2014
Basis Smartwatch

Last month we reported that Basis Science, a company which develops health tracking smartwatches, was in talks with various smartphone technology companies, including Google and Samsung, regarding a possible acquisition. According to sources who spoke with TechCrunch, it turns out that Intel is the company which has actually managed to close a deal for Basis.

Even more astonishingly for a company which only has a single product on the market, two sources are being quoted stating that Intel bought Basis for a price of either $100 or $150 million. What did Intel buy for such a high price? Well, Basis owns around 7 percent of the wearable fitness tracker market, and has had over $30 million worth of investments poured throughout the company by Norwest Venture Partners, Mayfield Fund, as well as Intel Capital.

Of course, we shouldn’t be surprised that Intel was so interested in Basis, after all, Intel spent a lot of time at this year’s CES talking about the future of mobile technology, specifically focusing on its own chips which could be used for wearable technology. Intel also really needs to catch-up to ARM based chip manufacturers, such as Qualcomm, whose chips are already powering a range of wearable technologies.

It’s suspected that Intel has purchased Basis to use as a platform with which to further improve its own range of chips to sell to other companies. Not only that, but Basis also offers a way to put an Intel powered device into the marketplace, using a company which already has a decent market presence. This seems like a much safer strategy than launching its own product, see the Qualcomm Toq, but $100 million+ is a hefty price tag to pay for convenience.

As major firms, including Samsung and LG, already have wearable devices on the market, and with many other companies gearing up to launch their own devices too, it seems that Intel’s acquisition of Basis was a necessary decision to help keep the chip manufacturer relevant in the fast paced mobile market.