Suunto Sold – Movescount Closed

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Suunto Sold

It looks like Suunto has been sold once again.

Amer is the owner of Suunto and has owned various sports brands over the years like Mavic, Enve, Suunto, Wilson, Arcteryx, Atomic, Wilson and others

The recent history of Suunto/Amer is one where most of Amer’s assets were acquired by MASCOT/ANTA Sports (Dec 2018). Soon after, its loss-making French subsidiary Mavic was sold to Regent. Some bizarre stuff then happened at Mavic as they soon went into receivership before eventually being bought and the brand saved.

Well, now it also looks like Amer sports has further divested the entire Suunto operation to a Chinese company called Haylou/Liesheng Technology, founded in 2015.

Source: Amer

The Chinese buyer looks interesting and sells wannabee Apple Watch earbuds imaginatively called GT6 and W1. Its more interesting products are the RS4 & LS02 smartwatches which retail for about $60 and look a bit like an Apple Watch, the latter with flat pressers rather than a crown. Then there is the RS3 sports watch which physically resembles a high-end Fossil Wear OS Watch but with Coros-like menus and icons.

Even more interestingly, Haylou/Liesheng has links to the huge Xiaomi smartwatch company, which might bode well for Suunto watches on many levels ranging from latest tech components at affordable prices, cheaper and more agile development resources, through to distribution channels.

In other Suunto news.

Only yesterday we had the news that the Movescount web platform was finally closed down, this followed a protracted period that allowed Suunto to enable legacy watches like the AMBIT 3 to be configured via their SuuntoLink software. In that same two year period, the Suunto smartphone app has become much more stable and reliable as well as receiving a steady drip of new features. Suunto still has some form of online presence for their watch users via Sports Tracker, which I use to export my Suunto workouts from.

 

Take Out

I’d never heard of Haylou/Liesheng, perhaps they are big in the Far East. IDK.

The Suunto brand is already reasonably strong in the Far East and perhaps Chinese ownership can further help that? Of course, the danger is that Suunto watches are cheapened by using its well-respected brand name on cheaper watches and with manufacturing being moved entirely to the Far East.

Let’s hope Suunto’s plans for new watches and new features will be re-doubled in 2022. I’m hopeful for a S7 Gen 2 in the second half of the year (no intel !) and there are certainly other things ‘bubbling’ as well.

 

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Dave Lusty

This is very interesting news, especially if the buyer is into smart watches. Suunto isn’t primarily a sports watch company, hence their approach with the Spartan etc. and Movescount. If you hadn’t mentioned the watches of the parent company I’d have guessed they would drop out of this market and focus on making their dive range and instruments better. Hopefully this doesn’t spell the end of the dive division!

simaskkk

Suunto T6 was my first smartwatch. Very sad, but predictable end of suunto, Polar is next on the list.

Brian Reiter

I hope Polar is in better shape. They are 5x the size of Suunto in revenue and employees. They have product differentiation in superior 1st party HR analytics and best available HRM accuracy. Polar need to add a TOPO map layer and continue to improve battery life and display size to be competitive with Garmin and Coros.

Suunto had a terrible mess with their analytics online platform that was unresolved for years. They have also been largely stagnant and allowed their technological advantages over Garmin in power management be nullified. I think they just did not have the revenue and resources to invest and remain competitive.

It’s sad to see an iconic brand sold to a holding company you’ve never heard of. It does seem likely this is the end for Suunto in all but name.

I wonder if all of those Salomon athletes like Killian, Francois D’Haene, and Courtney Dauwalter that have used Suunto 9 for years will suddenly be on Coros and Garmin.

Nick K

Selling culture and vision is what Suunto’s been doing ever since Ambit 3. Apparently people insisted on buying finished products that have features expected in this decade. Like ability to turn off notifications sounds but keep vibration, workout calendar, structured workouts, training load reports, proper web interface, more than 3 data pages in training views, multiple sensors per type support, footpod calibration, 24/7 HR capture, sync, and charts, to say nothing of weather and daylight time calendar widgets, offline music, or a proper notifications center.

(Last time I checked, the zombie notifications still plague the latest production firmware in S9 and S9P. Years after being reported back in Spartan days.)

Brian Reiter

Polar doesn’t need to make the Grit X physically bigger so much as the display needs to be bigger — shrink the humongous bezel. The display is the same size as a fenix 6S. On the other hand, Garmin has a map layer working on a fenix 6S.

It’s not so easy but that’s the competitive landscape that the Grit X Pro is in. The Vantage V arguably doesn’t need the mapping as much. But then it could use the other quality of life stuff like tap to pay and music. (Tap to pay is more of a banking industry buy-in problem and less of a tech problem.)

Processors get better and more fuel efficient. It’s obviously possible to do these things, if not easy.

It’s a big problem for them. If you think Garmin can’t survive the Apple onslaught in the long run, how can Polar carve out a viable niche?

Nick K

Actually, vast majority of non-Garmin sports watches are 1.2″ (same as 6S) except for Suunto 9 (and earlier Spartans) and now Vertix 2. Though I definitely agree Polar should have gone with 1.3″ for Grit X Pro, if not 1.4″. That said, before we even get to things like pay and music (none of which I see happening with Polar, ever), how about some real basics? Importing workouts from TP/Final Surge? Having more than 4 data fields per page? Full running power integration? Multiple alarms and timers, preferably accessible by a shortcut and not a touch-screen gesture that’s barely usable? Vibrating timer alert instead of incessant beeping? Track mode? Sleep tracking that doesn’t miss start and end times by hours? More training load info on the watch like Garmin and COROS do, not just “1.2” without much context? Running performance and race prediction on the watch? Just like Suunto, Polar’s been skating on their brand name for a long time, falling further and further behind. Suunto slow demise should have been a wake up call for Polar’s management. But judging by lack of any meaningful updates lately (and a delay to much promised and already late update to Grit X),… Read more »

Andy

Realistically this is end of Sunnto and I expect the brand will exist in name only. Expect cheap generic watches to be rebadged.

I have actually have heard of Haylou – their GT1 and GT2 wireless headphones are well reviewed and I own a set of GT2 which have always worked flawlessly with my Fenix 5+ and Fenix 6.

Nick K

Sad panda. But given how quiet things had gone following the release of S9P, I was kind of expecting this. Strange new bedfellows though! Wasn’t Suunto proud they had moved all manufacturing back to Finland and were o so green and sustainable now? Will they be moving production lines again? Or only the brand?

As per their diving division… I think the writing is on the wall. Both Garmin and Shearwater, for example, could just slightly lower their prices to destroy Suunto’s high end, with the usual suspects like Cressi, Aqualung, and Oceanic sweeping the low end. It’s been awhile Suunto offered something truly innovative and competitive in the diving realm. I think they’ll be pushed out of it same way they ended up effectively dropping out of the great outdoors, despite being miles ahead in the early days of Fenix.

Kind of proves the old maxim that most of the time, slowly and painfully iterating over the long run will get you further than revolutionary rewrites.

tfa

think it’s clear the end of Suunto as we know it, sad story

AK

Oh well, probably the end of Suunto’s manufacturing in Finland.

I might as well delete my Sports Tracker account, too.

Matthew kay

I wish the best for Suunto employees during the transition time. I am less optimistic about Suunto as the super nice brand (that it was) surviving for long.