Intel buys smartwatch maker Basis for reported $100M to $150M

Posted:
in General Discussion edited May 2014
According to a report late Monday, Smartwatch maker Basis, which just last month was rumored to be shopping itself around to the likes of Apple, Google, Samsung and Microsoft, has been acquired by Intel for between $100 million and $150 million

Basis


Sources familiar with the matter tell TechCrunch that Basis Science, makers of the Basis Health Tracker Watch, has been purchased by Intel and will likely be rolled into the chip giant's growing arsenal of sensor and processor designs for wearable devices.

While an exact price is unknown, one source claims the deal is worth "around $100 million," while another puts it closer to $150 million. In either case, Intel's offer appears to be higher than the "sub-hundred million" figure Basis was rumored to be shooting for in February.

Intel has been making moves to bolster its position in the burgeoning wearables market with new sensor and platforms like the Quark embedded processor and the Edison smart chip. With existing devices leveraging silicon from industry leaders Qualcomm, Texas Instruments and others, Intel could be looking to buy some momentum with the Basis acquisition.

The future of the Basis Health Tracker Watch, Basis Science's lone product, remains unclear and Intel has yet to officially comment on the matter.

In an Ask Me Anything session on Reddit last month, Intel CEO Brian Krzanich revealed he uses two wearable devices, one being an internally developed project. While the company is unlikely to field a branded smartwatch, the wearables sector is obviously one of interest to Intel. Major OEMs like Samsung and LG already have devices on the market, or about to hit. Even Google is rumored to be mulling an entry as part of its Nexus lineup.

As for the glut of smartwatches and wearables coming to market in recent months, industry analysts speculate the impetus for many manufacturers is to get out ahead of Apple's much-rumored "iWatch." The most recent rumblings point to a health-minded product much like the current batch of devices, except with advanced innards and seamless integration with iOS, of which Apple has a substantial installed customer base.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 28
    Desperation chows down on desperation. Basis and Intel were meant for each other. A new watch most likely will never see the light of day.
  • Reply 2 of 28
    sockrolidsockrolid Posts: 2,788member
    [I][SIZE=4]Apple kicked our asses in mobile, but dangitall, we'll beat them in wrist-tops![/SIZE][/I]
  • Reply 3 of 28
    michael scripmichael scrip Posts: 1,912member
    Didn't Intel buy some TV content company or some set-top box?

    They did nothing with it... and they already sold it...
  • Reply 4 of 28
    OMG. Apple is SO screwed for not jumping on Basis when they had the chance. Those sexy watches. Those full-featured apps that look and work so beautifully.

    Or they could just keep building their own next-gen watches in secret, and let Intel buy two-year-old tech.
  • Reply 5 of 28
    Didn't Intel buy some TV content company or some set-top box?

    They did nothing with it... and they already sold it...

    Yes. Intel had much bravado about conquering television last year then sold out to Verizon. Next?
  • Reply 6 of 28
    foadfoad Posts: 697member
    While I can't attest to what Apple is working on, it seems as though the pattern is the same as pre-iPad. Everyone thinks the market is going a certain direction because of a variety of factors. In the pre-iPad days it was netbooks and now it's wearables and TV. Intel is a part of that craziness. Since the Windows/Intel duopoly got smacked around, Intel seems sort of lost in what to do. Here's hoping Apple and Intel start using some of the extra fab capacity instead of Intel wasting time on this insanity.

    As a note regarding Basis...maybe they have some patents that we don't know about that pushes the valuation that high. With deals like Instagram and Whatsapp being so high, $100 million might not seem like a lot, but heck, it is.
  • Reply 7 of 28
    sudonymsudonym Posts: 233member

    100 Million is nothing.  Apple spends a LOT more than that on M&A.  Nobody spends more than Apple.

  • Reply 8 of 28
    bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 285member
    Again, I'm not convinced Apple is working on a watch at all. I'm not even convinced that the majority of people even want or need a smart watch.

    As I recall, it was analysts that decided the next big thing should be a smart watch, not Apple or any other tech company. Now everyone and their brother is scrambling to do a watch. Apple doesn't do what the analysts say they should do, they do what they think that they should do. Analysts should just shut the heck up. They cannot even run their own affairs let alone trying to drive the tech industry.
  • Reply 9 of 28
    jpd514jpd514 Posts: 51member
    There is a missing link for Intel to succeed in mobile and small device world and its BlackBerry.

    Intel should buy BlackBerry.
  • Reply 10 of 28
    maestro64maestro64 Posts: 4,415member

    Typical of Intel getting into markets which they do not understand, it will be dead in under 2 yrs. Intel enters markets like this in order to sell more processors in the mean time they end up screwing it up and selling what left for a loss.

  • Reply 11 of 28
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    jpd514 wrote: »
    There is a missing link for Intel to succeed in mobile and small device world and its BlackBerry.

    Intel should buy BlackBerry.

    Wouldn't that put Intelberry in a position of competing with its customers ala Googorla?
  • Reply 12 of 28
    clemynxclemynx Posts: 1,509member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Bilbo63 View Post



    Again, I'm not convinced Apple is working on a watch at all. I'm not even convinced that the majority of people even want or need a smart watch.



    As I recall, it was analysts that decided the next big thing should be a smart watch, not Apple or any other tech company. Now everyone and their brother is scrambling to do a watch. Apple doesn't do what the analysts say they should do, they do what they think that they should do. Analysts should just shut the heck up. They cannot even run their own affairs let alone trying to drive the tech industry.



    With all the hires they've made it seems clear that they are working on some kind of wearable, with the watch being the most probable. They are not going to put a heartbeat sensor on the back of their phone like Samsung did.

  • Reply 13 of 28
    dick applebaumdick applebaum Posts: 12,505member
    I couldn't find any tech specs for the Basis device --- I assume it uses a low-power, lower-end ARM chip. Intel has recently announced a 32-bit x86 pentium-class chip called the Quark. In addition, Intel has announced Edison a SOC (including the Quark Chip) that is the size of a micro SD card.

    I suspect that Intel might use the Basis talent to build a prototype reference design of the Basis device (or equivalent) using Intel tech instead of ARM. I do not think that Intel will (or should) compete with OEMs using Intel chips.
  • Reply 14 of 28
    bilbo63bilbo63 Posts: 285member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ClemyNX View Post

     



    With all the hires they've made it seems clear that they are working on some kind of wearable, with the watch being the most probable. They are not going to put a heartbeat sensor on the back of their phone like Samsung did.


    Oh, I definitely think that Apple is going to enter the wearable space, I simply have my doubts that it'll resemble any of the smart watches out there at the moment. Whatever Apple does do, you can bet that it won't be plastered with a million features that we don't need that make the thing difficult to use or drain the battery. Apple knows that it is not a race to see who can pack the most crap into a watch. Apple will choose a small specific set of carefully chosen features and do those to best of their ability.

  • Reply 15 of 28
    I remember when intel was so obsessed with PDAs, they licensed ARM designs and made chips based on those. Then they lost interest. They also lost interest in making USB microscopes for children. Intel goes through these cycles of doing something outside the box, then abandoning it and crawling back inside the box.
  • Reply 16 of 28
    clemynx wrote: »

    With all the hires they've made it seems clear that they are working on some kind of wearable, with the watch being the most probable. They are not going to put a heartbeat sensor on the back of their phone like Samsung did.

    My money's on the iHeadband. It's not creepy like the Google Glass, in fact it's retro stylish and evokes the health-consciousness of Native American Indians. Unlike a watch which is often unnoticeable due to clothing draping itself over and around it, The iHeadband is always in the line of sight. Furthermore the iHeadband practically screams for accessorizing: Snap some braids on behind your ears, or add some colorful feathers and beads. The possibilities are practically endless.

    In no time Apple can begin to offer accessory sensors. Want to know what people are doing behind your back? There will be the rear-facing camera, the iSeeYou, A guaranteed favorite of mothers of teens and school teachers everywhere. For the naturally paranoid, sensors of the iStink can check for how greasy your hair is, sniff for body odor and bad breath while whispering in your ear how revolting you are from one minute to the next.

    The iHeadband is not just another product, it's a basis for a whole panoply of add-on sales for Apple. One that is sure to be a hit is the iDance. Disco music is transmitted to your ear via bone conduction making you break out in spontaneous dance while you are shopping or in church... The iHeadband has the potential of turning the world into one big Microsoft Surface commercial....
  • Reply 17 of 28
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post





    Wouldn't that put Intelberry in a position of competing with its customers ala Googorla?



    Um "BlackTel" is a much better name.

  • Reply 18 of 28
    jpd514jpd514 Posts: 51member
    With the success of the Samsung Gear 2 and the WOW for the Samsung Gear Fit, probably that we will have to wait much longer for the iWatch.

    Apple as to find something equally WOWing.
  • Reply 19 of 28
    bilbo63 wrote: »
    Oh, I definitely think that Apple is going to enter the wearable space, I simply have my doubts that it'll resemble any of the smart watches out there at the moment. Whatever Apple does do, you can bet that it won't be plastered with a million features that we don't need that make the thing difficult to use or drain the battery. Apple knows that it is not a race to see who can pack the most crap into a watch. Apple will choose a small specific set of carefully chosen features and do those to best of their ability.

    Very thoughtful post, Mr. Baggins.
  • Reply 20 of 28
    My money's on the iHeadband. It's not creepy like the Google Glass, in fact it's retro stylish and evokes the health-consciousness of Native American Indians. Unlike a watch which is often unnoticeable due to clothing draping itself over and around it, The iHeadband is always in the line of sight. Furthermore the iHeadband practically screams for accessorizing: Snap some braids on behind your ears, or add some colorful feathers and beads. The possibilities are practically endless.

    In no time Apple can begin to offer accessory sensors. Want to know what people are doing behind your back? There will be the rear-facing camera, the iSeeYou, A guaranteed favorite of mothers of teens and school teachers everywhere. For the naturally paranoid, sensors of the iStink can check for how greasy your hair is, sniff for body odor and bad breath while whispering in your ear how revolting you are from one minute to the next.

    The iHeadband is not just another product, it's a basis for a whole panoply of add-on sales for Apple. One that is sure to be a hit is the iDance. Disco music is transmitted to your ear via bone conduction making you break out in spontaneous dance while you are shopping or in church... The iHeadband has the potential of turning the world into one big Microsoft Surface commercial....

    ????

    Pretty accurate, apart from the iStink. I think it will be the iNoseRing, which will enable a whole new world of olfactory-enabled apps. And when you're in a meeting, it will discreetly vibrate for notifications. If you want to share photos with someone, you just touch iNoseRings together.
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