The mapping business is tough in the mobile world – Google Maps and Apple’s Maps are dominating the market…a market that is tough to break into. For Nokia’s HERE maps to have any real chance of competing, both Google and Apple would have to approve their inclusion into their respective stores, but Nokia does not believe this will be a problem. Mr. Fernback, an executive at HERE said, “I’m convinced people are looking for alternatives. Google Maps is a good solution for many, their maps work very well, but it has looked the same and done the same for a long time.”
Nokia’s mapping business is geared toward corporate customers, such as FedEx and Amazon, who pay licensing fees to use their digital mapping system. With this new push, Nokia will take their maps directly to the consumer FREE of charge and Nokia plans to have the app ready to go by the end of the year. What is unique about Nokia’s maps is that there is no internet connection required. Because Nokia’s maps are no longer tied into the fate of its headset business, they will take them to Android OS and iOS, where the most users are available. As far as attracting current Google Map users, Nokia’s maps have features that their competitors lack – the ability to fully download the maps for offline use as well as search without an internet connection…the maps work via satellites, so once they are downloaded, the internet connection is no longer necessary for their functionality.
As far as financial returns, Nokia does not expect any immediate results – unlike Google that offers their maps free, but also have small ads here and there – Nokia has no immediate plans for advertising. They believe that by allowing customers to freely use their maps, they will receive valuable feedback to fine-tune their location engines, making their maps even better for their business partners. Nokia also struck up a deal last month with Samsung to use their maps on their Tizen operating system. It remains to be seen if Nokia is capable of ‘building a better mousetrap,’ but chances are that users will give their maps a try – we love and depend on our maps. Please hook up with us on our Google+ Page and let us know if you will give Nokia’s HERE maps a tryout…as always we would love to hear from you.