Nokia sets the agenda as an industry leader and becomes a platform using NAVTEQ/location and that’s great news! ..

ovi maps racing.JPG

I have been a fan of Nokia .. But recently, I have been critical of Nokia for mixing three distinct elements which are not easy to mix in my view i.e. telecoms, content(music) and applications.

Trying to emulate apple and grab mindshare in the music industry was never going to work and that’s why I said: Nokia’s mass market iPhone strategy is unlikely to work and Dave Stewart can never be the missionary man ..

As early as 2005, Nokia had(rightly) recognised that they needed to get the customers on their side and also build their own brand to overcome the commoditization of handsets (which I discussed in Long Tail Devices ) and an inevitable move to services to survive

So, it is nice to see that Nokia has come back to its grassroots and stopped trying to be an iPhone but provided their customers with something that they really want ..

That magic ingredient is ‘Location’. It is obvious that Location is the key differentiator for mobile devices .. But Location was not a platform. Nokia has made location into a platform by firstly acquiring navteq and then more importantly giving out location for free ..

Very few companies can spend 8.1 billion dollars and then make the product free .. (Nokia acquires Navteq for 8.1 billion dollars)

But that’s exactly what’s needed since location now becomes a platform for others(developers) to build their applications on .. And these applications are unique and useful to the customers. Both Apple and Google do locations through Cell id databases (and hence it’s only an approximation) but Nokia has accuracy ..

And now we see proof that this strategy works ..

In the first week of launch, of the latest version of Ovi Maps bundled with free walk and drive navigation over 1.4 million people have downloaded it already.

More interestingly, from my perspective of viewing as a platform. Ovi Maps Racing is a location-based game which uses actual data from the NAVTEQ maps, where you create your racing track and then choose your car and start playing. (source GSM arena)

Its high time Nokia started to behave as a industry leader and stop emulating the iPhone and also become a unique platform in its own right

Once again, Nokia is setting the agenda

This is all great news ..


  1. Thomas says:

    I was quite fond of Nokia, but after the N97, I may say that Im very disappointed. Despite my personal feelings triggered by that phone model, I dont see much to praise Nokia on the maps move.
    Don’t you think that Nokia started giving location for free because of Google’s move into that, as presented on the Android 2.0 GPS navigation?
    Concerning the number of downloads of the new version of the maps, if the number includes the cases where the download is triggered by the mobile as a software update, does that numbers represent much. Is like if Microsoft published the number of windows machines that have installed a specific recommended security patch.
    I personally would say that first Nokia should either improve their touchscreen to at least the same level as the Iphone or completely give-up on touch screen devices. For location, I think they will have a tough job to compete with google.
    But at least the ovi maps racing game seem a great concept, and Im looking forward to try it =)

  2. yosko_s says:

    “Both Apple and Google do locations through Cell id databases (and hence it’s only an approximation) but Nokia has accuracy ..”
    That’s not a fair statement. Apple’s and Google’s location is based on the hardware, same as with Nokia. Phones with a GPS receiver have the exact same accuracy.
    You may argue that the location coordinates don’t constitute as a “location-platform”, but for this Apple depends on their developers, which have started to deliver the location-based promises over the past year.
    Now, Google is a whole different story – Google maps has been the base (ie platform) for most of the location based services and mash-ups (both mobile and internet). Following the Google “streetview” surveying, Google now owns all of it’s US map data, same as Nokia owns its map-data through the acquisition of Navteq.
    The free publishing of a Navigation app doesn’t necessarily mean the establishment of a platform (Google has done the same a couple of months ago). To achieve that, Nokia needs to enable much better support in the symbian OS for location acquisition and sharing (between programs).

  3. Ajit Jaokar says:

    thanks for the clarification saar. rgds ajit

  4. Ajit Jaokar says:

    test comment

  5. Ajit Jaokar says:

    this is a test comment