Phone giant Nokia has launched a free map and navigation service for its handsets that analysts believe could challenge stand-alone sat-nav devices.
Nokia will follow Google, offering free maps on its cellphones, in a move to boost handset sales and prices, but one that will hit other satnav players.
In 2008, at the peak of the market, Nokia bought digital mapping firm Navteq -- a rival to navigation specialist TomTom's Tele Atlas unit -- for a whopping $8.1 billion.
"There is a risk that they will make a writedown on Navteq when they report fourth-quarter data next week, but it is impossible to speculate on the size," Schroder said.
This may be old news but Nokia now owns Navteq!
As I have said in other threadss, Garmin wasted too much time on the NuviPhone and missed the next big thing. Cellphone intergration, and TomTom, Navigon, Google and now enter Nokia are way ahead of them.
Nokia is giving away the blades so you'll buy their razor?
Nokia has been doing a lot of very aggressive things lately, reminiscent of an animal trapped in a corner... Not only are the usual competitors causing it trouble, its main business (phones) is under attack from well-funded upstarts (apple) as well as large outsiders (google) backing a myriad of smaller threats (the android system).
So now they're giving away maps and nav functionality to get people to buy their phones.
Gee, will they give away tenpenny nails so folks can use their phones as hammers?
For people that already have a nav system, and a phone, it makes about as much sense.
For someone choosing among the uber-phones, it might make a difference...
Salesperson to potential customer: "This one comes with free maps and a navigation application. This one comes with a free leatherette case and strap, available in four different colors."
Nokia will be around long after Garmin and other stand alone companies are gone.
Nokia aren't big in North America because they've not really got into the NA "carrier subsidy = lock-in to crappy plan and high penalties" model. They tend to sell unlocked phones at retail, but they're still the biggest cellphone company in the world and outside NA they're massive. As Google is about to kick the whole carrier subsidy model to pieces I think we'll probably see a lot more Nokia phones around in the near future, their new N900 is a really nice piece of kit. In any case they're not going away anytime soon.
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