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Suunto Sold To New Owners (Again)

SuuntoHQ

Suunto announced yesterday that they’ve been sold away from the Amer Sports group, to Liesheng, a Chinese tech-focused brand that also owns/makes the Haylou brand (audio devices). However, I say ‘again’, because Suunto has long been part of the Amer Group (which includes brands like Salomon, ENVE, Atomic, Wilson, and others). However, Amer Sports was sold in December 2018 to ANTA Sports, a different Chinese conglomerate. This time though, Amer is selling off just the Suunto portion to their new buyers. The financial terms of the sale were not disclosed, however, the rumor and leaks of this occurring pre-announcement were strong.

Suunto says the paperwork “is signed” and that they’ll be completing the transaction in the first half of 2022.

What It Means To You:

Suunto issued a statement outlining what this means for consumers, and according to them, it’s…well…nothing. In the most brutally Finnish honest way possible, they simply outline that absolutely nothing is changing because everything is gonna stay the same. Here’s a quote from Suunto President, Heikki Norta :

“For you as a fan, community member and user of Suunto this change is actually not a change at all. Suunto brand and our products and digital services, watch update frequency, data protection practices, customer support and service – all of these and more continue normally.”

They go on to note that operations will remain in Finland, where Suunto has virtually all of their staff (even today, under Amer/ANTA). Virtually all Suunto production also occurs in Finland, in fact, even the Suunto 3 was pulled back to Finland from China manufacturing two years ago. It was really one of the first products that Suunto had outsourced beyond their Finnish headquarters and manufacturing facilities. As part of the manufacturing transition back to Finland, it underwent a subtle name tweak from ‘Suunto 3 Fitness’ to ‘Suunto 3’.

Here’s the relevant snippet on retaining operations in Finland:

“We stay committed and focused on developing our high-end products, inspiring adventurous lifestyle and on protecting our playground. Liesheng has indicated that Suunto will continue to run its operations from Vantaa, Finland.”

Longer-term, the press release is light on details. I’m not entirely sure how to translate/read ‘broaden our shoulders’, but hey, acquisition and mergers press releases are known for buzzwords that are little more than jargon.

“In the long run, partnering with our new owners will broaden our shoulders in the continued development of new fit-for-purpose products for the outdoor enthusiasts”

So what does this mean for Suunto and consumers? Honestly, I wouldn’t expect much good out of it. Had there been intent to use an influx of cash for expanded development of products, services, or platforms – the press release would have said that (because that’s what you do in acquisition press releases – you promise the world). Since we didn’t even get that, I’ve gotta assume there won’t be an influx of new resources.

And of course, that’s a challenge for Suunto. It’s well known across the industry, or simply Suunto’s public records, that Suunto has struggled significantly the last two years financially, going so far as to furlough staff for months at a time to save cash. This, at a time when most sports tech companies are actually accelerating their staffing and investments. Arguably, it’s never been a better time to be a sports tech/fitness company (in terms of interest).

How Suunto Should Go Forward:

Setting aside the dive computer operations, Suunto essentially has three core watch product ranges:

High end: Suunto 9 series
Middle tier: Suunto 5 & Suunto 7 Wear OS watches
Budget end: Suunto 3 series

As I’ve said before, I don’t think Suunto can meaningfully compete anymore at either the high end or the budget end. We only need to look at their competitors to see that. At their own admission during my discussions with them, they aren’t going to try and compete with Garmin and its Fenix series. They simply can’t. Not on features, and certainly not on accuracy anymore. Even competing with COROS & Polar is virtually impossible for Suunto in their Suunto 9 Peak series. In virtually every category, except perhaps navigation (and even that landscape is already changing with COROS having maps now), they’re significantly behind.

Meanwhile, at the low-end, it’s near impossible to compete with like-priced watches from Samsung and Apple that cater better to the very casual fitness realm. And if someone is more serious, both Polar and Garmin also offer similarly priced offerings that have far better screens and better apps/data.

However, there are two units that Suunto can compete well in the marketplace with. The first is the Suunto 7 Wear OS watch. Sure, battery life is the usual non-optimal Wear OS scenario, but frankly, Wear OS people know that. Instead, Suunto needs to port as much of their higher-end sports features into the Suunto 7, and make that the defacto sports watch for people that want a more vibrant ‘smartwatch’ experience (e.g. offline music, contactless payments, all the Wear OS apps, etc…).

The second is the Suunto 5, which actually sits reasonably well as a budget triathlon watch. Or, a budget multisport watch. I think they could take a page from COROS’s playbook on price undercutting (see the Pace 2), and stash a barometric altimeter in the Suunto 5 series, and easily undercut a lot of their competitors in terms of a small form factor watch that has a ton of features and is still very reasonably priced. Sure, the screen continues to be a bummer, but hey – can’t win them all.

Ultimately though, being competitive in the market takes either money, or highly talented engineers that do more with less. Further, it takes leadership to focus on the right things that one can still be competitive in. I’m hoping Suunto, along with their new owners, can sort it out. The world is always a better place with more competitors and more consumer options.

With that – thanks for reading!

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77 Comments

  1. Italian James

    I was indeed looking forward to your article on this; I find your analyses informative and generally precise.

    Certainly, by looking at Suunto’s and Liesheng’s current strategies and portfolio of product it is hard to imagine that corporate or operational relatedness will be created from this acquisition. Haylou sells sub $ 100 smart watches/activity tracker while Suunto prices devices at a premium. I struggle to see synergies being created in the post-acquisition stage. Additionally, It is also hard to imagine what core competencies Liesheng may deploy to improve Suunto’s strategic competitiveness. It rather appears that the acquirer needed a relatively well known and historical European brand to overcome possible “country of origin” effect.

    • Justin

      The problem with this analysis is that it’s from the Suunto perspective only. What matters here is the acquirers goals and reasoning. Generalizing, these Chinese companies have deep data science expertise and huge data pools via many cheap devices. One could see applying that to dramatically improve Suunto’s body health capabilities. Anyway, we’ll see where this goes.

  2. andy Schmit

    “And of course, that’s a challenge for Suunto. It’s well known across the industry that Suunto has struggled significantly the last two years financially, going so far as to furlough staff for months at a time to say cash.”

    “say” should be “save.”

    Just a typo, thought you’d want to correct it.

  3. Harambe

    What is Liesheng’s relationship to the Communist Chinese Party?

    • David B.

      Google is your friend.

    • Harambe

      Thanks for your help!

    • TaKras

      it would also be interesting to know. Btw, in 2015 Haylou became a Xiaomi eco-chain enterprise, with a valuation of 60 million US dollars…

      Now i am confused, because in near future i was planning to change my spartan sport to 9 peak.
      Sorry, but i disliked garmin and polar ui …
      After this news, you need to relocate the pros and cons 😅

  4. Eric

    I first encountered Suunto as a dive computers, and evidently that part of the business is still going strong.

    Kind of a shame about the rest of it though. But the fitness watch market is flooded with low-cost options these days, and they are almost treated like disposable items. Once they break, pitch it and buy something else.

    • Leo

      The other problem with the fitness watch market is that users want more data. The users don’t care about accuracy or how useful it is, more data is better.

      Garmin is king in delivering more data (and also don’t bother to much with feature quality) so Garmin sells the most devices.
      Polar and Coros play catch-up, Suunto is the looser.

    • Jean

      Actually, Suunto’s dive computers are inferior to those now made by top-of-the-line Garmin and Shearwater. Mares, Oceanic and many other lower-priced computers are superior now too. No one I know dives with Suunto anymore.

    • Paavo nurmi

      They used to be decent dive computers years ago but you are correct. I recently upgrade from an old Vyper to a shearwater Teric and it’s way better than of any of the new Suunto models.

  5. C.Sco

    “At their own admission during my discussions with them, they aren’t going to try and compete with Garmin and it’s Fenix series. They simply can’t. Not on features, and certainly not on accuracy anymore.”

    While I think most people already knew they lost that battle, it’s interesting to hear that they’ve (more or less) officially given up trying. Part of me wonders if Garmin’s acquisition of Firstbeat was the final nail in that coffin.

    • Andreu

      Officially??? Do you think that a person who constantly hits some brands and does not hit others, has official news … please a bit of credibility this seems tabloid magazines.

    • I hit all brands equally. When brands make mistakes, or push out crappy products, I write about it. But the simple reality is that the brands that do well in the market do well for a reason: They push out less crappy products. Thus, overall, there’s less to criticize. Or at least, less important things to critize.

      This isn’t rocket science.

      As for competing on features with Garmin, both Sunuto and Polar in my various briefings with them have been crystal clear, both saying literally exactly the same thing: “We’re not going to try and compete on features with Garmin.”

      In Polar’s case, they’ve sidestepped and instead competed around the physio side, and pricing. In Suunto’s case, they’ve aimed to compete on the Suunto 7 side an openness of Wear OS.

      Pretending that Suunto is realistically competing with the Suunto 9 or Suunto 3 series doesn’t do Suunto any favors. Nor does it change the reality. By any metric I want to use, they aren’t: Amazon sales, interest, views, YouTube views, Google trends, comments posted, questions asked via e-mail, etc… And it’s not certainly not me. I can see much of the same interest data from other review sites/channels, even ones that skew more heavily towards Suunto products, and you can see the trend/reality.

  6. James Guide

    DC, any idea happened to Amer’s Digital Services business? ie, the ex-SportsTracker team that was used to develop the new Suunto App? Did that get rolled into Suunto and hence is part of this sale?

  7. Reed Dong

    Does the sports-tracker.com website included in the buyout by Heylou? If not, does that mean our workout data will no longer be synched to the website in the near future?

  8. Tony

    Spartan Trainer was also made in China before Suunto 3 Fitness.

  9. Jeremy

    “and certainly not on accuracy anymore”
    As far as I’ve been able to judge by myself, going from S9 to F6 and back to S9, Suunto doesn’t have to struggle AT ALL to be head and shoulder above Garmin in accuracy. Be it in altimeter or GPS (not talking about OWS). And oHR is equally crappy.

    • dsc

      Totally agree. I would add the battery life too on that and the fact that doesn’t lose your exercise on a regular basis like Garmin 🙂

  10. dsc

    Judging by the last chinese purchase, things will only get worse. This is when the downward trend started, and unfortunately affected the diving products too. And on the diving segment it’s more delicate, as you need a device to trust it with your life.
    Suunto needs to refocus on its traditional fan base, the hardcore athletic person/diver and keep the focus on the social media peasant as a second option. They are losing the high end battle because they focus on a shiny app that still doesn’t provide the data movescount used to plus they gave up on the rugged product concept and started to make gay watches with music player and electronic pay option.
    The winner here is Coros. Garmin is still shite, but they have a massive range hence the newcomers see only Garmin in front of their eyes when they try to buy their first device. Hardcore users go for Coros-running, Wahoo-cycling, lean towards Shearwater in diving products.
    Suunto will NEVER win the battle in the social media peasant segment. Apple, Fitbit, Samsung will long dominate it, hence Suunto should refocus on what it used to do best and reconquer its old fanbase.

    • petrom

      Apologies if I’ve misread your intent, but using “gay” as a perjorative died out >20 years ago.
      Also judging acquisitions based upon the fact that they are both chinese seems a bit narrow-minded.

    • Lisa telemant

      I found the wording rather striking as well. Thank you for voicing this in a constructive way.

    • Yup, I agree. No reason for such language.

      Also, I’m not entirely sure what the “social media peasant segment” is. Unless you mean the 99% of people buying all these watches, that enables these companies to actually produce products for the 1% of consumers that are doing ultras and such. Long gone are the days of companies making watches singularly for the endurance athlete.

      While there will always be a few people who hate anything other than a stopwatch, the reality is that most endurance athletes use many of these non-endurance features. They want a watch for 24×7, not a watch for an hour or two a day, or a single long run a week. This has been the case for years.

  11. JL

    Suunto has awesome route builder functionality in their mobile app, that’s vastly superior to any other I have seen out there. This is what keeps me using a Suunto watch. I even go as far as to create a route in Suunto app, export it from there and import into Garmin app to upload it to my cycling computer.

  12. tvcrider

    This news is certainly not encouraging. I was considering replacing my six year-old Suunto Ambit3 Peak Sapphire with a Suunto SUUNTO 9 Peak Ti. I will now be putting that off, perhaps forever, even though the Peak Ti is currently available at significant discount directly from Suunto. Why put even more money into a sinking ship?

    I really dislike the thought of having to switch to another workout history interface whether it’s Polar or Garmin.
    I did this once before when I purchased the Ambit3. I am sure that my six years worth of Suunto data cannot be imported to either competitor’s supporting software/apps.
    Arrgh!!!

    • luvs

      On iOs you can install RunGap app and transfer all history from suunto to Garmin or Polar.

    • Tim

      I’m not quite sure why the acquisition of a Brand owned by a Chinese conglomerate by another Chinese conglomerate should be a bad sign. But maybe that’s just me :D.

      That said, importing data nowadays is very easy – but switching environments is a real, real pain.

    • Andrew Allan

      Ya I’ve been using RunGap for awhile now, fantastic app. I frequently switch back and forth between iOS & Android, plus I use Garmin as my primary data host with SportTracks as a mirror using a direct-connection to GC. But I use RunGap to send all Garmin’s data to Polar as a tertiary backup, works great . So basically it allows me to run any phone OS and any hardware, at any time.

  13. Rob

    Out of interest do you think that Polar is at risk of a similar takeover and/or subsequent lack of investment?

    Polar seem to be currently quite well placed in the pure fitness space, and as you mention in your article they aren’t looking to compete with Garmin in terms of features. However Garmin and Apple have muscled in on fitness with improved HR sensors and fitness metrics which I guess will make it harder for Polar to hold that market share?

    I’m a fan of Polar products but do wish that they would make their watches slightly more ‘smart’ with some Spotify on device storage integration (surely they can pop across to Stockholm & thrash out a deal with their Scandinavian friends!) and phone notifications during a workout…

    • At risk? Probably.

      But is it a ‘bad’ risk? Probably not.

      I think Polar could actually be an interesting target for Wahoo to acquire. The two would fit together reasonably well. It would take a solid ask on Wahoo’s part to their investors, but they actually would have pretty good synergies.

      The challenge would be that it wouldn’t end well for most Polar employees. Realistically, Wahoo wouldn’t need that much there. They’d want most of the watch software engineers, and some of the mechanical engineers too. They might benefit a bit from some sales portions, but otherwise, there’s a lot of typical backend pieces that wouldn’t be needed.

      Still, most of what Polar has, Wahoo doesn’t (in terms of physio features, deeper structured workout support, predictive bits, sleep stuffs, etc…). So from a pure features overlap standpoint, it’s actually a really good fit. Corporate culture could be moderately tricky though.

    • Bob

      Polar should have joined forces with Wahoo before Wahoo entered watch market. That would have been a great play for both, combining cycling and other sports. Now Polar should not be too interested in that.

      But I think Polar and Hammerhead should somehow join forces. Polar has a great ecosystem and a renowned brand, but they miss a solution for cyclists and because of that, their ecosystem is worthless for cyclist.

  14. Carl Popolo

    Or maybe it’s just about the data? In its quest for world dominance the P.R.C. might find the performance data of elite athletes worth having as it decides where it can be more competitive. Put another way, do we really think they need Finnish technology to build cheap sports watches?

    • Suunto says that the data remains protected as before. I’d generally assume Suunto will hold the line there should something pop-up. But at the same time, having worked in IT and IT security for years, the reality is that most acquiring companies eventually ask for full administrative access as their IT departments oversee things. It would be incredibly unusual if that wasn’t the case (in any acquisition).

      That said, I think it’s far easier for most countries to just look at users’ Strava profiles instead. All the data is generally right there.

  15. Michael Eaton

    Great article as always. Enjoyed reading it!

  16. gaberchic

    Thank you for the informative article DCR, I was looking forward for your analysis.
    Though I second some of your concerns regarding Suunto future, I’d like to think that the chinese group can pull a ‘Volvo’ -like when the giant chinese car manufacturer Geely bought the swedish brand and eveybody thought they would cheap it out or just spoil it, but instead they put a lot of money in R&D and made it the kind of luxury/innovative cars they are today.
    I’m aware the two cases are different, but still..
    Pardon my poor english
    gaberchic

    • Jeremy

      Mainly agree.
      And I’m pretty sure the “Suunto is doomed” comments were already written by the time of the first sell.

      Well I really appreciate Suunto and their approach to products (build quality, SW updates even on old devices, clear and no fuss approach), but it’s true that they’re lagging behind in terms of some functions (just pairing multiple sensors of the same type…gosh….) but I’m pretty sure it perfectly handles the needs of 85% of the users (road running, triathlon, trail, moutaineering)…

      Seeing some athletes go off the boat (Seb. Spehler, Thibaut Baronian for Salomon trail runners….to Polar and Coros respectively) does not sound good (vne if athmetes go where they can get money as they need this for a living…)

    • I wouldn’t nessessarily overthink sponsored athletes too much (in any direction). By and large, athletes will do as athletes always do: Follow the biggest pile of money.

      These days, COROS is throwing some of the biggest piles of money around – not just to athletes, but also to YouTubers, bloggers, and others, to promote their product. As I’ve always said, as long as people are transparent about that, that’s their cup of tea.

      The point being, athletes jumping ship from Suunto to another brand is almost 100% tied to the check being deposited in their banking account, rather than the product itself.

    • Jeremy

      That’s what I’ve especially mistyped: “(vne if athmetes go where they can get money as they need this for a living…)”…which should read “even if athletes go wherethey can get money…”

      So I agree, yes 🙂
      I didn’t know about Coros throwing lots of money for marketing – it sounds fair.
      I find it more obvious with Wahoo tho…it makes me want a Rival even if I can’t see any real advantage on it over my trusty S9b 🙂 (safe from being something new 🙂 )

  17. Todd Baldi

    Any word on how this will impact the dive computer operations?

  18. Aleksander H

    Really hope their still working on WearOS products. S7 hasn’t seen a feature update since april. Since then they have only pushed out a single security update (September if I remember correctly). Before that they were pushing out updates regularly, and most brought with them quite useful features. I’m hoping they stopped because they moved their attention to development of a Wear OS 3.0 device, but I’m not holding my breath.

  19. DeafAdventurer

    referring to the part of “Not on features, and certainly not on accuracy anymore.”
    I feel that feature wise, Garmin is difficult to compete against.
    On accuracy terms , Fenix 6/ Fenix 6Pro is nowhere near an accurate device on the field with Suunto 9Peak being probably in par or sometimes better.

    Certainly their Forerunner devices are more accurate than Fenix ones, so i don’t understand why Suunto (or anyone else) would not compete against them.

    My view is that actually you don’t really need to compete against Garmin to gain market share. Suunto 9 Peak was a great device but a bit overpriced. A 20%-25% discount would definitely make it a reasonable purchase with some great features. So if the competition is on features, they are doomed. If the competition is a great all rounder with a more competitive pricing, they could easily gain momentum.

    My view is to look at the activity and consider the watch as a tool device (with some fashion elements) . Obviously there are people who care about the devices more than their actual activities

    • Paul S.

      Maybe, but just today Garmin on Facebook sent out a heads up about the 18th. So it’s likely that Ray is already testing the Fenix 7, and if it’s gone dual band GPS and Garmin has done it better than COROS, then Suunto won’t be able to compete in GPS accuracy. We’ll see in a few days; I’ll be reading Ray’s review of whatever Garmin is releasing.

    • I guess the challenge is that, years of data on Suunto’s recent devices (Suunto 9 series as an example), and I’m just not seeing it having better HR or GPS accuracy than Garmin or COROS.

      Especially HR accuracy, I consistently see Suunto flubs there that others don’t do. GPS accuracy is mostly fine in non-challenging scenarios. And this is all ignoring the Suunto 7’s HR sensor, which is definitely not ideal.

      I’m also not seeing any other reviewers showing results that puts Suunto ahead in GPS or HR accuracy. For example, The5KRunner also identified that the Suunto 9 Peak struggled in both HR and GPS. I just don’t think the Valencell sensor that Suunto is using (the specific model Suunto is using) is up to the task anymore, or at least, not with the power draw that Suunto allows it.

    • Jeremy

      And what do you think of F6 GPS accuracy? As far as I’m concerned, even in non challenging scenarios, it was crap vs S9b.
      oHR was a hair better…at the beginning, and started to behave as badly à thé S9 one. Note that I’m not even remotely bothered by oHR as I’m still considering it as crap for running activities, no matter the brand….save from the AW6 which puts historical sports brands to shame.

      Tho, I’m still considering going back once again to a F6 (after a S9 followed by a F6…followed by a S9)….

    • Stanislav

      Recently I looked at a number of race results on Strava comparing distance accuracy of various devices. In trail races Suunto 9 consistently produces more accurate distances than most Garmin devices, certainly more accurate than Fenix 6 series, which in my opinion is among the least accurate devices. The most accurate trail running watch seems to be FR 745, but Strava on iPhone comes close too.

      It is interesting that compared to Suunto 9 Fenix 6 produces more accurately looking tracks, but it manages to always cut the distance too short.

    • One of the things to keep in mind if analyzing unknown random peoples tracks, is that by default, Garmin stupidly (still) is configured for “Smart Recording”, which in trail running in particular is going to be disastrous for the GPS track, and it’s going to frequently cut corners and such. Whereas Suunto is set by default for 1-second recording.

    • Stanislav

      But Strava takes distance straight from uploaded FIT file header, which means that it would be exactly the same distance as reported by the device, regardless of the track. According to Garmin, distance doesn’t depend on whether smart recording was used. In other words, unless Strava distance correction was used, which very few people use, smart recording shouldn’t matter.

    • Unfortunately, Garmin’s past statements there have been demonstrated as very much untrue. Even if we look at the .FIT files, we know that. Garmin simply adds up the point to point sections as it goes along, to get the final header value.

      What Garmin tried to say, but casually overlooked, is that they believe a smart recording point will trigger if the track varies enough to warrant triggering. But of course, that rarely happens properly.

    • Stanislav

      In my experience analyzing dozens of filters from my Fenix 6X, Garmin doesn’t simply add point to point distances. I would be happy if that was true. In my experience, when running on trails in PNW, device distance is usually about 5% shorter than sum of point to point distances along the track.

      Adding point to point distances is what Strava distance correction does, and in my experience that always increases the Garmin device distance. I wrote my own python script to analyze Garmin files. When I add point to point distances in the script I get the total distance consistent with Strava (after distance correction) or, for example, with GNSS distance shown by quantified-self.io tool.

  20. pavlinux

    R.I.P. Amen!

  21. Rafael

    It is sad that once a Leader in this segment shouldn´t keep up pace from for instance Garmin. I once evaluated both brands, fortunately I choose the latter.

  22. max

    What about ownership of data? and agreement of customers to migrate data to chinese company? EU law?

  23. pavlinux

    All this is very similar to the Garmin initiative. The week before the announcement of Fenix 7, through the third hands, the Garmin & Chinese declare the purchase of Suunto. Guess who will come to all the users left? 😀

  24. Suunto is owned by company in an non democratic country? Bye bye! I guess, that Garmin also using my data … but when I have the choice between these two, well …

    • Jeremy

      See the bigger picture: Suunto is (and already was) owned by a Chinese company (non-democratic as you say). BUT they build their watches in an European country (democratic). With decent working condition in factories, I guess.
      Garmin is an American brand (yeah, democracy!) but build their watches in non democratic country, it’s maybe a tad less control over working conditions.
      The choice might not look as straightforward as you initially guess…..

    • Franck

      Is Garmin really an American brand? Didn’t it relocate from Cayman Islands to Switzerland in 2010? Just to say that no one is perfect? Data privacy is an issue but what is done with your money is another.

    • In general, you’ve probably got two sides to most companies: Where they have 99% of their staff/buildings/etc… and where they officially say their incorporation/ownership is.

      Garmin: Virtually all engineering/development staff in North America/Europe, manufacturing in Taiwan (owned facilities), and Tacx manufacturing in the Netherlands. Officially Garmin US is a subsidiary of Garmin Ltd of Switzerland. Garmin is listed on the US stock exchange.

      Suunto: Virtually all engineering/development staff in Finland, manufacturing for everything I think is now back to Finland. Today, Suunto is a subsidiary of Amer Sports (Finland), which is in turn, a sub of ANTA Group (China). Going forward, Suunto will be a direct subsidiary of Liesheng (China).

      Polar: Virtually all engineering/development staff in Finland, manufacturing for everything these days is in China (or at least, all recent watches). To the best of my knowledge, all ownership is held within Finland.

      COROS: Virtually all engineering/development staff are in China, with only a token office in California of a couple of employees. Manufacturing is fully within China. Precise ownership is fuzzy, but it was originally a spin-off/startup within a giant Chinese conglomerate back a number of years ago. It’s unclear what the exact ownership structure is these days – though I haven’t heard anything to indicate North American/European funding sources.

  25. King Bradley

    What did all the competition expect?
    People aren’t just willing to spend €300-500 on a watch that doesn’t support contactless payment and offline music.
    Whether they need it or not:
    With Apple Watch they get it for under 300€!

    I don’t believe that you have to be able to do every feature of the competition or necessarily more than the competition, but contactless payment and offline music have become as much a part of it as the automatic spelling correction on smartphones.

    The manufacturers should pray that Apple does not achieve a battery life of 4 – 7 days with the Apple Watches….

    You can also see how Apple is opening up new markets with Apple Fitness and the combination with their Apple Watch and increasing the incentive to buy an Apple Watch.
    I’m sure some people at Peleton are starting to get nervous.

    RIP Nokia…ups…Suunto

    • Jeremy

      People aren’t seriously buying 700€ Sports GPS watch that are not able to provide a decent GPS track, nope? Oh. Wait…they are indeed.
      Paying much more attention to contactless payment and offline music (in an age where streaming’s king….) on a GPS sports watch than on altitude and GPS accuracy is very funny. Sign of the times I guess.

  26. Matthias E

    I have a Suunto watch since 2018 and recently asked to have all my 2815 activities exported, as I am moving to another watch company/platform and would like to take my data with me. This is such a painful experience and I wonder how other users have experienced that?

    It is my understanding that under GDPR it is my right to request the data that online services store about me. Other platforms like Strava (even the old Suunto Movescount) have a simple button with an automatic system for that in place, but not the Suunto App/sports-tracker.com. After talking to support for 2 month now they stopped responding to my emails. It was first suggested that I should download the activities manually (one-by-one, which is possible in the Suunto App to get a .tcx file), later they sent some .gpx files, but kept missing activities. I had to provide detailed lists of which activities were missing. Finally, they sent all activity data, but the .gpx files contain no information about what kind of activity it is (run, bike, swim). Without that information the data is not useful to me. They clearly have that data and I find it frankly unacceptable that they would not provide users with it.

    Moving forward, I expect that more and more users might be in a similar situation like myself, leaving Suunto for another brand and want to export their data. Did anyone successfully get a data export from Suunto?

    • trufrostol

      Perhaps you can try it via the runalyze portal, since they seem to have a tool for it (see the bottom of the linked page). I didn’t try it myself.

      link to runalyze.com

    • ChrisA

      If you’re on an iphone give “Run Gap” (App) a try. Don’t know which platform your’re going to, but it can handle most of the major brands and at least export all your data into a reimportable file format. Works flawlessly for me across different platforms for very small charge (ist arround 2 or 3 Euros a month)

    • Jeremy

      RunGap is an efficient tool, but some platforms do not allow importing activities (Coros, Wahoo).
      So you might be out of luck.

      Save from this point, Matthias, aren’t your activities already on Strava? If so, you can push them from strava to the platform you’re going to (assuming it supports importing data….)
      Once this is done, you can ask Suunto to delet eevery information they have about you, and they have to execute due to GDPR rules.

    • Matthias E

      Thank you all for the good suggestions. I will have a look at runalyze and Run Gap, cheers!

      I was thinking about the Strava route as well. However, to my surprise some of the Suunto files on Strava cannot be imported by Garmin Connect (GC) unfortunately: “One of your files was not accepted by the system. Please contact Support for assistance”. For instance this activity: link to strava.com

      The strange thing is that I can ask Strava to “Export original”, that gives me a 3.4 MB .tcx file that GC cannot read. I can also use Strava to “Export TCX”, that gives me a 3 MB .tcx file that GC can read. However, the Strava mass export includes only the “original” files, that in my case GC cannot read all the time. So I would be back to manually exporting 2815 activities from Strava. Funnily, I can also manually export the same activity from the Suunto App, that gives me a 0.5MB sized .fit file that GC can also read. This is such a mess. The easiest option would be if Suunto could just send me my data.

    • Hans ten Berg

      Have you tried the Run Gap- app? Works well.

  27. Patrick Ricciardi

    Sunnto

    You can keep putting lipstick on this pig but it’s still a pig..

    .I disagree for them to be successful they must try to hire developers and compete with Garmin.
    otherwise they are just wasting their time

    Garmin sits as King

  28. Max

    Chinese ownership doesn’t have to be a bad thing. Suunto is still a well known and respected name among sports professionals and investing some money could bring them back to life. Their strengths are very good built quality, long lasting software and hardware support, watch software is usually tested thoroughly before being pushed to watches, their mobile app is actually very nice one and has the best mobile route builder in the market… Investing in software department could be highly beneficial.
    Of course new owner could just take the name and use it for their cheap products to boost their sales in Asian market. We’ll see.

  29. Theo

    Personally, I think this is a good thing. It’s evident that Suunto lacks SW developers to keep up with Garmin, Apple, etc.
    Though, there is probably a huge potential for improving the supply chain and reducing production cost. In case the R&D, engineering and product management (definition of Suunto brand identity) is continued in Finland, Merging Suunto inn to a larger Chinese tech company could result in lower cost / unit resulting in lower pricing and better profitability.

    In addition, the argument that Suunto is no longer able to catch up with Garmin, Apple etc. is not valid, in my opinion. Have a look at Coros and Wahoo that “started from scratch” and are gaining ground. Polar is to a certain extent also catching up. Suunto / Liesheng has at least a solid platform to build on. As long as they develop from the existing products, I foresee that they can be very competative within a year or two.

  30. John

    Suunto will be fine. Stop pushing the scare mongering, you’re as bad as a politician with Covid.

    • Not sure what’s scaremongering here. It’s well established that Suuntos’ finances were in poor and getting worse shape, losing money each of the past four years while losing more each year (you can look them up if you want to).

      I simply outlined a viable business strategy going forward, as obviously, the current one isn’t/wasn’t viable.

      Like Covid-deniers, if they don’t change, they’ll probably die.

  31. KL

    I’ve been a Suunto supporter for a decade. Suunto actually put me on to DCR’s great content. So, I’m really sad to see Suunto falling by the wayside. Hopefully, this new acquisition will help to turn things around.

  32. Theo

    Lets if this new Suunto 5 Peak helps them. It looks promissing. I assume that you’ll post a review soon Ray?
    link to actionhub.com