Apple and Nokia bury the hatchet – which could mean better smartwatches for you

Okay, bear with us here. This is a story about patent litigation, but it could mean that you're going to have a better Apple Watch in the future.

The short story of the courtroom drama between these two companies is as follows: Nokia has a lot (a lot) of patents that relate to the use of smartphones, and it has agreements to license them to Apple for its iPhones.

However, there were some other elements that it wasn't licensing, and which it was claiming Apple was using unfairly – and it used patent assertion entities (PAEs) to force companies like the Cupertino brand to pay up.

These PAEs have been called 'patent trolls' by many, as their only role is to get more money for claimed patent infringements – and Apple was upset that it kept getting sued by those acting on Nokia's behalf.

Thankfully for fans of a non-courtroom narrative, that's all done and dusted now, with Nokia providing certain network infrastructure product and services to Apple in return for an undisclosed lump sum and future revenues for the duration of the multi-year licensing agreement.

Watch this space

But hey – there's some actual product stuff in this announcement that's more interesting to the average consumer. Firstly, Apple will resume stocking Withings fitness devices (owned by Nokia) in its stores now that this dispute is over.

Apple and Nokia are also "exploring future collaboration in digital health initiatives", and given that these two brands are big hitters in the wearables industry this could lead to some new breakthroughs in the way we monitor ourselves daily.

We've been hearing that the Apple Watch 3 could be able to monitor glucose levels – and Tim Cook was reportedly spotted sporting such a device on his Apple Watch – so it's clear that this is a direction the brand wants to take its Watch in, and a tie-in with Nokia could be just the thing to facilitate that. 

Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.