This morning, the news was made official, and Nokia sold off their HERE mapping company for $3 billion. This marks the third sale Nokia has been a part of in less than two years. They sold their mobile phone division to Microsoft for about $7 billion. Then bought Alcatel Lucent for $16.6 billion. Now they have sold HERE maps for $3 billion. The buyers are a bit interesting though. A consortium of German car makers picked up the mapping company. That’d be Audi, BMW and Daimler.
Outside of the most obvious reason that these three car companies bought HERE (for maps in their own infotainment system) it also allows them to continue to research self driving cars. Although integrating HERE into their connected cars is something we’ll see much sooner than self-driving cars. Currently the deal is expected to close in the beginning of 2016. Nokia also stated in the announcement that the sale of HERE Maps will not affect their mobile apps on Android and iOS. Selling HERE to car makers will allow them to “extend their product and services offering beyond the car.” Now that HERE is sold off, Nokia will be breaking up into two companies.
Nokia Networks will do the network side of things. That’s the part of Nokia that bought Alcatel-Lucent earlier this year. They sell hardware to carriers for their 4G and soon 5G networks. There is also Nokia Technologies. This part of the company will continue to develop technology products like the OZO camera that was recently announced for virtual reality. Likely to compete with GoPro’s 360-degree video. Splitting into two companies sort of reminds you of Motorola. There’s Motorola Mobility and Motorola Solutions. While Motorola Mobility does all the smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, etc., Motorola Solutions does radios and such. Which Motorola does quite well. Obviously Motorola Mobility is the part that was sold to Lenovo last year.
So Nokia’s HERE maps aren’t going away, but if you’re buying a new German car in the next few years, you can expect to see quite a bit of integration with HERE maps in your new car. HERE Maps is a great alternative to Google Maps, so it shouldn’t be too bad.