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slitchfield 30-11-2009 11:26 AM

Take the hit, steal the march - Ovi Maps Navigation should go free NOW
The times, they are, as the bard quoth, a changin' - Google Maps Navigation now provides free turn by turn voice instructions on Android-powered phones in the USA, and it's only a matter of time before the licensing restrictions and map rollouts get sorted for real time navigation in many other countries. And all for free. But this still leaves a window of opportunity for Nokia to step in and change this landscape in an even bigger way - right now. And sell a truckload of phones in the process, worldwide. Read on for my thoughts.

Read on in the full article.

UKJeeper 30-11-2009 12:03 PM

Well said. Good idea.

Unregistered 30-11-2009 12:04 PM

Yup why not. As I understand the 6710 navigator already comes with lifetime free navigation. Comes with maps, if not for all, at least for a few high end devices, certainly for the flagship! Stop pussying around n do it now please, tq..

neilhoskins 30-11-2009 12:07 PM

You're right, of course, but it won't happen. They'll just let it wither and die.

joeyfallon 30-11-2009 12:09 PM

Seems logical to me

Unregistered 30-11-2009 12:22 PM

Free maps too
If Nokia's idea is to use more open source - i think the head of Symbian was saying any new app should try to use 50% open source/free material to get started on. Then why not start integrating OpenStreetMap into OVI maps or opening up the POI info that nokia already holds. In other words, don't just make OVI maps free but make the info free too? Of course Navteq costs nokia billions of pounds - it would be a major hit - but thats the price of being a services based company i guess...

lookatbowen 30-11-2009 12:27 PM

well said Steve. Nokia should hire you guys for your knowledge and foresight. That is a genius idea. Surprise the enemy before they surprise you.

snoFlake 30-11-2009 12:42 PM

+ Lots
Absolutely right Steve, the PR value after their recent trip-ups would almost be worth it alone but and you've nailed it here 1st mover advantage would be with them and rather than being Google's punch bag why not set the agenda themselves?

Saw another article recommending this some time back following Google's announcement, they should open source the whole thing so that they can open out the PoI's etc and have developers spin Apps off it. I know they are moving some way to do this already but within their "transforming into a service provider" framework, unfortunately their resources or expertise seem insufficient for this task and by the time they implement a service we are either bored waiting for it or somebody else has beaten them to it with a better written product or it's just plain shoddy (OVI store).

Whether Nokia are going to have the courage to write down their Navteq investment I don't know but their move to a services company is unraveling a bit because of their inertia - the same problems are bedeviling their OS development. In the middle of it all they seem to have forgotten that they're a phone maker/developer and have lost the playing field defining lead there. The fact they seem to be a bit surprised at the interest in the N900 and yet are content with the N97 as a flagship seems to show how far from the reality of the market place senior leaders in Nokia are.

I hope Nokia management in their ivory towers (rotten foundations mind you) have the breadth of vision to listen to your advice Steve and at least make some advantage out of this and get back in the game. But if they were happy with the state of SF^1 in 2009 I somehow doubt it - do senior management actually use their own products and compare them to other makes??

dougalzene 30-11-2009 12:53 PM

free navigation has long been on my wishlist. speedcams and live traffic data, too? i wouldn't mind occasionally paying for them but free is better!

Unregistered 30-11-2009 01:02 PM

The flaw
Functional GPS would need to be a prerequisite on any phone they claim to have this proposed feature. My plan for Nokia would be build phones that work first then worry about features.

Reminds me of Tomtom actually. A market lead withering away due to to forgetting core business and overloading with pointless features.

theshocker 30-11-2009 01:09 PM

This is something I always thought Nokia should've done, even back in the N95 days. But given the recent buzz around Google Maps Navigation, it makes more sense now than it ever did. But knowing Nokia I am not holding my breath (didn't they give away a few PEDESTRIAN navigation licenses after Google Maps Navigation was announced?), and I'd be very surprised (and delighted of course) if they did.

Another problem would be what to do with all the people that already paid for licenses? Give them their money back? I don't think any company, let alone Nokia, would do something like that.

mbrett 30-11-2009 01:11 PM

I agree this would steal the momentum of Google Maps, but Nokia do still have the major advantage for many, in the form of the option to pre-install maps, so that you aren't so reliant on map download.

In my opinion Nokia need to find a middle ground between these free map OTA maps applications and other apps like Tom Tom and Garmin etc, whic are still paid for. The maps application is in midst of a reasonable degree of development with the pretty S60v5 hopefully gettign a new beta release soon. Someone does need to pay the development guy's sallaries.

Rather than looking solely at the cost of the navigation licence maybe we also need to pursuade Nokia to invest in some functionality improvements in the form of improved Search capabilities to at least equal Google Maps and improved POI management and access again to at least equal that of Google Maps.

To be honest the price of Navigation was reduced in the last year, although it would be nice to reduce this further as it's always nice to have money in your pocket rather than someone else's.

For me it's more of a decission of exceed or compete. There are many things in the world where you can get free version or paid for versions and normally the paid for versions out-perform the free versions. Do users want an app that competes with Google Maps or Tom Tom, or do we want a middle ground with added paid for functionality which enables it to compete with Tom Tom and similar.

I'm happy to pay for things like Speed Camera warning and Traffic and speed limit nifo as long as it's accurate and ideally as real time as possible.

eluxzen 30-11-2009 01:58 PM

Ovi Maps free navigation or lost
I agree with the points in this article. In my opinion Nokia has 1 choice or no-choice so to say: get Ovi Maps free as soon as possible or get lost in the competition. See how TomTom and Garmin were hit on the the stock exchanges when Google only announced their intention for step-by-step navigation on Android!

And now this feature is only available on MotoDroid or what it's called. Everyone knows: this gonna get offered world wide and for every Android phone. So Nokia should get a step ahead of Google and start offering it right away. The other non-option is to wait and sell as many Ovi Maps licences as possible only to get beaten out of competition as soon as Google comes to town. Besides Google Navigation on Android phones there is the thread of Google Navigation on other phones!

Even I use Google Maps now on my Nokia 5800 to show me the route I have to take. My co-driver will navigate through it. Or I use it to plot the last route stept. Ovi Maps works better but I'm not gonna pay 58 a year to get some directions! Within 3 years I could have bought a TomTom for that price and have a bigger screen to see the route on. The only licence I bought is walking routes, as I walk a lot. But that was prices about 8 a year.

Hope Nokia gets free too, or I wait for Google Navigation to come to town!

djmuzi 30-11-2009 02:08 PM

For N-Series Devices it MUST be free! I payed 400 EUR for my N86. For this price the phone should include full licence.

But for now I chosed Nokia because of the free offline maps, Navigation would be nice thing and I would consider buying another Nokia in the future :) because for the future I tend to Android....

Unregistered 30-11-2009 03:08 PM

Steve, Nokia has been doing this quite a while already, with devices which comes with the lifetime navi. Newest one, for example: 5800 NAVI and cost? Little over 300! That is a bargain! Considering that you have to pay almost double to get a new android device, which NOW doesn't even have free NAVI.

Pointless rant Steve from you ;)

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