Intel Makes the Next Move in Smartwatches

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Intel Corp. (NASDAQ: INTC) has made the latest move in wearable devices by reportedly acquiring smartwatch maker Basis Science. The details were not revealed, but it is believed to have cost Intel between $100 million and $150 million, giving it around 7% of the wearable fitness tracker market.

Basis Science makes the Basis Health Tracker Watch, which monitors such things as steps taken during the day, calories burned, sleep quality, and physiological metrics like heart rate and encourages the user to make healthier choices. Intel gains an already-established company with a fair market share and technology already available. The smartwatch and its designers could provide a platform for Intel to establish its own designs and features.

Intel demonstrated an interest in wearable devices at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. There it introduced its Jarvis Bluetooth headset and announced a smart chip it called Edison. And CEO Brian Krzanich hinted the company might be working with partners to bring new wearable designs to market.

But Intel enters a space where rivals are already entrenched. Samsung and LG have wearable devices available, and Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is expected to include a smartwatch as part of the next-generation Nexus release. Competitors Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ: QCOM), STMicroelectronics N.V. (NYSE: STM) and Texas Instruments Inc. (NASDAQ: TXN) currently supply much of the market with the sensors used in wearables.

Google, Samsung and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) were also reportedly interest in acquiring Basis Science.