Nokia leverages its investments in gate5 and NAVTEQ by introducing free navigation services to its smartphone users.
On 21 January, 2010 Nokia launched the latest version of the Ovi Maps navigation software for its smartphones. The new version features a redesigned user interface, but the biggest news was the inclusion of free walk and drive navigation. Nokia has reported that the number of downloads of the software reached one million one week after launch and downloads surpassed 1.4 million on 3 February, 2010. The top five countries downloading the new version of Ovi Maps are China, Italy, the UK, Germany and Spain.
At the moment, eleven models are compatible with the new version of Ovi Maps including the Nokia 97, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, Nokia E52, Nokia E55, Nokia E72, Nokia 5230, Nokia 6710 Navigator, Nokia 6730 classic and Nokia X6. As the number of compatible models is expanded, uptake can be expected to grow substantially. In 2009 alone, Nokia shipped close to 68 million smartphones including more than 40 million GPS-enabled devices. Moreover, starting in March 2010, all new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include Ovi Maps pre-loaded with local country map data, walk and drive navigation and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra cost.
The rapidly growing user base will also create opportunities for third party application developers that want to integrate their services with Ovi Maps. In September 2009, Nokia started to roll out its web and mobile APIs for its Ovi services that allow publishers and developers to create applications that integrate with Nokia’s services and platforms. The first include the Ovi Maps Player API and the Ovi Navigation Player API for location solutions on smartphones.
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