Nokia to offer free mobile navigation services

Jan 21, 2010 By MATTI HUUHTANEN , Associated Press Writer

(AP) -- Nokia Corp. said Thursday it will offer free navigation services globally for users of its smart phones, in a drive to counter a similar move by Google Inc.

The application, with detailed maps for more than 180 countries, will also have voice guidance in 46 languages in 74 countries.

It will be immediately available for download on Nokia's Ovi Map site, and from March all new GPS-enabled will include the new version of Ovi Maps. Users will also have free access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides that have information on more than 1,000 destinations globally.

"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," Nokia Executive Vice President Anssi Vanjoki said. "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."

The announcement follows a similar move by Inc. to provide free navigation services on handsets. It also will pose a challenge for makers of personal navigational devices, like U.S.-based Ltd. and TomTom NV of Netherlands, that help car drivers plan where they want to go and how.

Nokia's share price closed up less than 1 percent at euro9.23 ($12.98) on the Helsinki Stock Exchange.

The mobile phone industry has been hit hard by saturation in markets - especially in Europe - and the global financial crisis, forcing handset makers such as Nokia to increasingly turn to providing services for users, such as music and video downloads, navigational maps and games.

Nokia says that by 2011 it expects some 300 million active users of its services.

Nokia said that research firm Canalys estimates that in 2009 some 27 million people worldwide were using the , or GPS, on handsets. The Finnish company's new service could increase the number of users to 50 million, through a download of the new Ovi Maps available immediately, Nokia said.

"This move has the potential to nearly double the size of the current mobile navigation market," Nokia said. "The new version of Ovi Maps includes high-end car and pedestrian navigation features, such as turn-by-turn voice guidance."

In an $8 billion deal, Nokia in 2008 bought U.S. navigation-software maker Navteq Corp., a major provider of digital data and content.

In October, Nokia reported its first quarterly loss since it became the world's biggest handset maker in 1998 and said it would focus on smart phones, based on "user experience improvements," to help it boost performance.

In 2008, Nokia sold 468 million handsets, up 7 percent on 2007. It maintained its No. 1 position in the third quarter last year, with a 38 percent global market share and sales of 108.5 million handsets.

Nokia is due to release its fourth-quarter and 2009 full-year earnings on Jan. 28.

The company, based in Espoo employs 123,350 people worldwide.

Explore further: GoPro gets a little cheaper —and fancier —with new Hero4 camera

More information: Navigation download site: http://www.nokia.com/maps

3 /5 (1 vote)
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Nokia introduces 5230 touch phone

Aug 25, 2009

The latest addition in the Nokia touch phone portfolio, the Nokia 5230, is designed for those who lead an active life and use their mobile phone as their primary instrument for music, photos and videos, as ...

Nokia caught up in Brazil brand name row

Sep 25, 2009

Nokia, the world's top mobile phone maker, said Friday it was in a court battle in Brazil over its Ovi brand, which a Brazilian telecoms company called Ouvi claims is too similar to its name.

Nokia E75 begins shipping

Apr 06, 2009

The Nokia E75 has arrived in stores. The new arrival is the first device to ship with the new email user interface, offering full desktop email functionality, and complete integration of Nokia's email and ...

Nokia N95 multimedia computer starts shipping

Mar 22, 2007

Nokia today announced that the Nokia N95 started shipping in key European, Asian and Middle Eastern markets, with expanded shipments to other markets in those regions in the coming weeks.

Recommended for you

China clears way for Apple iPhone 6 sales

8 hours ago

China has cleared the way for Apple to sell its latest iPhones in the key market by granting it a licence, the industry regulator said on Tuesday, after the US giant agreed to improve the security of users' ...

A Closer Look: Stream-box gaming is a mixed bag

Sep 29, 2014

As gaming consoles such as the Xbox and the PlayStation diversify into video, social media and other non-gaming apps, it seems only fair that streaming TV devices start nudging into gaming territory.

Turkey's Erdogan dismisses new iPhone: 'Same as the last'

Sep 28, 2014

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, known for his hostility to social networks and mobile technology, on Sunday brushed off the frenzy surrounding Apple's new iPhone 6, saying it was much the same as its iPhone 5 predecessor.

IT student seeks to help mitigate risks of Google Glass

Sep 26, 2014

As online data breaches continue to challenge companies' and consumers' trust in cybersecurity, UC information-technology major Marina Grebenshchikova is exploring the risks associated with ever-evolving ...

User comments : 0