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Nokia offers navigation service free on its smartphones

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 21 Jan 2010 7:10 User comments (3)

Nokia offers navigation service free on its smartphones Nokia Corp. has dealt something of a blow to navigation players including TomTom and Garmin by announcing plans to release a new version of Ovi Maps that includes high-end walk and drive navigation at no extra cost to the user. The move, which could potentially double the size of the mobile navigation market, will bring high-end car and pedestrian navigation features to Nokia smartphones, such as turn by turn voice instructions for 74 countries in 46 different languages.
The Nokia move is probably a response to Google's move to offer free navigation on Motorola's Droid smartphones in the North American market. Nokia's decision to offer the services for free will help it to stay firmly on top of the Smartphone market that it leads, where it has lost some group to Apple and RIM.

"Why have multiple devices that work that work in only one country or region? Put it all together, make it free, make it global and you almost double the potential size of the mobile navigation market," explained Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia.

"Nokia is the only company with a mobile navigation service for both drivers and pedestrians that works across the world. Unlike the legacy car navigation manufacturers, we don't make you buy maps for different countries or regions even if you're only visiting for a few days. We offer both navigation and maps free of charge, with all the high-end functionality and features that people now expect."

Research firm Canalys reports the number of people worldwide using GPS navigation on their mobile phones at about 27 million, as of the end of 2009. Nokia's announcement could potentially rapidly grow this figure to around 50 million, depending on the number of users that exploit the offer. Additionally, Nokia will continue to add more smartphones to the compatible devices list.

"This is a game changing move. By leveraging our NAVTEQ acquisition, and our context sensitive service offering, we can now put a complete navigation system in the palm of your hand, wherever in the world you are, whenever you need it - and at no extra cost," continued Anssi Vanjoki.

"By adding cameras at no extra cost to our phones we quickly became the biggest camera manufacturer in the world. The aim of the new Ovi Maps is to enable us to do the same for navigation."

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3 user comments

121.1.2010 16:12

ALMOST double? Are you sure?! I'm 15 and I spent over 30 ($65) on sat nav software because Nokia were charging for theirs monthly. If they offer free gps, I think most people would exploit this offer and I'm pretty sure that's more than another 27 million, particularly since in the uk alone there's a substantially higher amount of phones than actual people.

221.1.2010 21:54

Good News =]
~hugs his 5800~
But...Anyone else realised that MOST apps that were FREE on OVI are now ridiculously priced?
hmm..Nokia making up for charges in other nasty ways ?.. i wonder

322.1.2010 5:07

I put this on my phone yesterday, it works really well. The extra features like Lonely Planet, Events & Weather will be handy.

Its far better than AmazeGPS, but i expect google navigation to be very good to.

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