Free sat nav comes to Nokia phones - death knell for TomTom and his mates?
Last week we reported on Vodafone’s sat nav iPhone app with its £3 a month subscription fee. Seven days on and it now looks as relevant as tracking your route by dropping breadcrumbs out of the car window as you drive.
Today, Nokia have unveiled free turn-by-turn sat nav on a wide range of their phones. That’s free. Gratis. For nowt. Forever.
Nokia say that the Ovi Maps application will be compatible with 10 current handsets, including the N97 Mini, E72 and 5800 XPressMusic, and will be pre-loaded on every GPS-enabled handset sold from March 2010.
The 2D and 3D maps will load on to phones over the air or via a computer, meaning there’ll be no drop of service if you stray into an area with little or no 3G signal.
Ovi Maps will cover a total of 180 countries, with turn-by-turn information available for 74 of those, in 46 different languages. Traffic data will also be available for ten countries, including the UK, although traffic data use would be live and require a mobile internet connection, forming part of a mobile phone tariff.
Could this spell the beginning of the end for traditional sat nav companies such as TomTom and Garmin? TomTom’s shares fell by 3.7 percent earlier this morning following the Ovi Maps announcement, while Nokia’s shares rose by 1.3 percent.
[Thanks to HUKD member jpxdude]