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Nokia is ‘Here’ with re-branded map services

Nokia India on Tuesday launched its re-branded mobile map services in the Indian market. Called ‘Here’ the service will offer maps and location-based services across multiple devices and operating systems. As of now, the service is available free on Nokia handsets but it will soon start working with Android-based device makers such as Samsung. It is also available in the Apple AppStore iOS, which users can save an area to their device so that they can explore even without data coverage.

However, Google, which controls the Android ecosystem and Apple already have their own mapping services. “By same time next year, the services will be available across Android and iOS platforms and we hope to be on top in mapping services like what is Facebook in social networking and Google in search,” Vipul Mehrotra, Director (Smartphone Devices), Nokia said. The company claims to be number one in the mapping solutions with engagements not only with handset makers, but also with automobile manufacturers such as Volvo, BMW, Hyundai, Mercedes and Volkswagen.

Mehrotra said that Nokia will also build some unique applications as well for its smartphones like Lumia. “For instance, current Lumia phones use an app called City Lens that enables users to point the camera at real-world objects and see data overlaid on top of them on the screen,” he said. The company has 4,000 towns/ cities covered under its mapping service with more than seven million points of interest, he said. According to independent market research firm Strategy Analytics, global location-based services has an opportunity of $6 billion by 2016. It said Nokia’s challenge will be to drive the usage of ‘Here’ across other platforms and drive revenue. It predicts consumer and advertiser expenditure on location-based services to reach $10 billion by 2016.

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