Published on January 27th, 2010 | by Babar Bhatti0
Nokia Makes Maps and Navigation Free On Its Smart Phones
Nokia has made a huge move in the mobile mapping and navigation area: it now offers free global navigation (for drivers and pedestrians) on Nokia smartphones. These free-of-charge navigation services are intended to boost Nokia’s service offerings and sell more phones. This is the same direction which Google was moving in with its free navigation software. The free turn-by-turn directions by Nokia mean that navigation device makers such as TomTom and Gramin will be impacted.
Nokia’s strategy to compete with rivals such as Apple and BlackBerry, has been to focus on navigation, entertainment and social media. Nokia has targeted navigation as part of a strategy to make more money from mobile services and reduce its reliance on selling devices. In 2008, the company bought digital-map maker Navteq for $8.1 billion. However, it also hopes that selling useful services will draw more users to its phones, particularly to its smartphones, which have been losing market share to rivals.
Nokia, which has so far sold about 83 million phones with Global Positioning System, or GPS, expects its sales of navigation phones to rise rapidly following the free navigation services. Late last year, Google began offering free navigation on Motorola Inc.’s Droid smartphone in North America.
Nokia blog adds:
One of the most exciting aspects of today’s news is the fact that all new GPS-enabled Nokia smartphones from March 2010 will come with this fresh version of Ovi Maps installed, meaning free global sat-nav is now a staple ingredient in all top-end Nokia handsets from here on in. In the meantime Nokia is also making free sat-nav immediately available to heaps of existing devices – sharing pole position are the Nokia N97 mini, 5800 XpressMusic, 5800 Navigation Edition, E52, E55, E72, 5230, 6710 Navigator, 6730 classic and X6. More handsets are expected to be added over the coming weeks (N97 coming very soon!), and you’ll be able to keep clued-in on the most up-to-date list of compatible devices at the Ovi Maps site.
Picture credit: Wall Street Journal