Back in August, Nokia had announced that they were selling their HERE Maps business to Audi, BMW and Daimler for around â‚¬2.8 billion (around $3 billion USD). Now the deal is supposedly going to close early, and be complete on December 4th. At least according to Nokia. Originally, the deal was set to close in the first quarter of 2016, so this is great news for both parties. The big reason for Nokia selling off their maps business was so that they could work on the integration of Alcatel-Lucent which the company acquired earlier this year for about $16.6 billion. Now this is Alcatel-Lucent, this is not the same company that makes smartphones. But rather they work on network infrastructure.
Audi, BMW and Daimler are buying HERE Maps with the plan of integrating it into their infotainment systems in their cars. So instead of relying on Google Maps, Apple Maps, Bing Maps or having to work on their own, they have a great service already at their fingertips. Since the sale isn't complete just yet, it's not yet known when Nokia's HERE Maps will be integrated into Audi, BMW and Daimler's vehicles. But it shouldn't take too long.
Nokia's HERE Maps was and is a great alternative to Google Maps, or even Apple Maps. As HERE Maps wasn't blocked in certain countries (like China, which all of Google is blocked in), and it was also available on Android, iOS and Windows Phone. Not to mention the web as well. The team behind HERE had been working hard on adding more and more useful features to the service, and that likely won't stop once this purchase is complete.
This marks the third big sale involving Nokia in recent years. With Microsoft buying Nokia's phone business for $7.2 billion in 2013. Then Nokia buying Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion earlier this year and now Nokia selling their mapping business over to Audi, BMW and Daimler. While Nokia isn't making smartphones (technically they are, under Microsoft), they are still working on the network infrastructure that all of us use each and every day. So they aren't gone, but restructured a bit.