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HindustanTimes Thu,24 Apr 2014

Nokia betting big on location-based services mkt

PTI  New Delhi, November 22, 2012
First Published: 11:15 IST(22/11/2012) | Last Updated: 12:33 IST(22/11/2012)

Finnish handsets maker Nokia is betting big on USD 6-billion market of location-based services on mobiles as the company is extending its maps and location services to platforms like iOS and Android.



Nokia had recently rebranded its mapping service as 'Here'.

"Nokia is the largest mapping company in the world. With 'Here', we want to extend Nokia's location offering to new devices and operating systems to give people a better way to explore, discover and share their world," Nokia Director (Smartphone Devices) Vipul Mehrotra told reporters here.

He added that an application has been submitted to AppStore (Apple) for its approval, API (for developing apps) for Android platform has been shared with handset makers.

"This is aimed at enabling partners to create location-based applications for Android devices with Nokia's leading content," Mehrotra said.

Nokia's main competition in mapping solutions includes Google and Apple.

Nokia will also build apps, some of them unique to Lumia devices, to maintain edge over competition.

"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. Then, we have indoor mapping feature which gives details of outlets within a mall, which is now available in Delhi," he said.

Nokia's mapping and location services cover 196 countries and offers navigation across 91 countries. In India, it covers over 4,000 cities and towns and over seven million points of interest.

It also provides mapping solution to auto companies like Volkswagen, Mercedes, Volvo, Tata Motors and Mahindra and Mahindra.

Market research firm Strategy Analytics, which pegs global location-based service opportunity at USD 6 billion, said Nokia's challenge will be to drive the usage of 'Here' across other platforms and drive revenue.

"We are focussed on extending the platform. Revenues are coming from licensing agreements and we will also look at other ways like advertising," he said.

He, however, declined to comment on financial details or targets set for the mapping service.

Nokia's Q3 Interim report, net sales of location and commerce vertical fell six per cent year-on-year to 265 million Euros from 282 million Euros in Q3 2011.

Nokia had acquired mapping company Navteq in 2007, which was fully merged into the Finnish company in 2011.

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