Feeds

Nokia switches direction and gives away maps

Anything Google can do...

Gartner critical capabilities for enterprise endpoint backup

Nokia has started giving away Ovi Maps including turn-by-turn directions, removing one more source of income in the ongoing battle to out-freebie Google.

Ovi Maps runs on Nokia's Symbian-based handsets, and synchronises with the online version for when you want to use a bigger screen. Until this morning, lost punters could have expected to pay for the software and regional maps, but now it's being given away. It includes maps for 180 countries and spoken turn-by-turn directions for 74 of them - in 46 different languages.

"Why have multiple devices 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", says the canned quote from Nokia's Executive Vice President. The more cynical might point out that there's little point in doubling one's market if one reduces the revenue generated by that market to zero, but that's nit picking.

If Google reckons it can hand out free directional mapping, making money from contextual advertising, then Nokia reckons it can too, and Nokia is prepared to put its product on the line to prove it.

Regardless of whether Nokia manages to turn a profit, the real losers will be Tom Tom and its ilk, who are going to find it increasingly hard to differentiate their offerings and get customers to pay for them.

Those of us who don't want to pay for directions will appreciate having more options, as each one further reduces the chances of having to interact with local people. ®

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Kate Bush: Don't make me HAVE CONTACT with your iPHONE
Can't face sea of wobbling fondle implements. What happened to lighters, eh?
Apple takes blade to 13-inch MacBook Pro with Retina display
Shaves price, not screen on mid-2014 model
iPhone 6 flip tip slips in Aussie's clip: Apple's 'reversible USB' leaks
New plug not compatible with official Type-C, according to fresh rumors
The agony and ecstasy of SteamOS: WHERE ARE MY GAMES?
And yes it does need a fat HDD (or SSD, it's cool with either)
FEAST YOUR EYES: Samsung's Galaxy Alpha has an 'entirely new appearance'
Wow, it looks like nothing else on the market, for sure
YES YES YES! Apple patents mousy, pressure-sensing iVibrator
Fanbois prepare to experience the great Cupertin-O
Steve Jobs had BETTER BALLS than Atari, says Apple mouse designer
Xerox? Pff, not even in the same league as His Jobsiness
TV transport tech, part 1: From server to sofa at the touch of a button
You won't believe how much goes into today's telly tech
Apple analyst: fruity firm set to shift 75 million iPhones
We'll have some of whatever he's having please
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.