Friday, January 22, 2010

Nokia will also offer navigation system in Mobiles

Pin It Nokia will also offer navigation system in Mobiles

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. Nokia hopes free navigation will bolster its flagging position in the global smartphone market. It still sells more smartphones than any of its rivals, but it has lost ground to Apple and RIM.

"It will help us to sell smartphones," Anssi Vanjoki, head of marketing at Nokia, told Reuters in an interview. "It will serve as a defence to our product prices." Google started in late 2009 to offer free navigation on Motorola's Droid model smartphones in the North American market.

Nokia offering free navigation on some 20 million smartphones is set to hurt key players on the global navigation market, including TomTom and Garmin. "This has massive consequences for pure software companies. It is of course a watershed for the industry," said Michael Halbherr, vice president for location-based services at Nokia, adding he saw navigation as a "function masquerading as an industry".

Shares in TomTom fell 13 percent on the news, and analysts said Nokia's move was bound to hurt business of smaller navigation software firms like Telmap or Telenav. "If you are a pure software player - you've got a big problem. Who's going to pay for turn by navigation now Nokia and Google are giving it away," said analyst Martin Garner from British consultancy CCS Insight. TomTom sells also navigation software - it charges $70 for its North American iPhone navigation application.

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