Nokia Confirms Ovi Maps Will Appear On Android, But Will That Be A Nokia-Branded Android Phone?

Illustration for article titled Nokia Confirms Ovi Maps Will Appear On Android, But Will That Be A Nokia-Branded Android Phone?

Why'd Nokia give away Ovi Maps for free to other OS users? Unless they're...planning an Android phone themselves? We've already heard whispers they're to release just one Maemo device this year—and they can't possibly survive on Symbian alone.

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Greig Williams, who is Nokia's general manager for the Alps and South East Europe, told the Austrian newspaper Die Presse that porting Ovi Maps to Android and Windows Mobile "will be the next step."

It'd be crazy of them to release their free turn-by-turn navigation service on other operating systems, unless it was all some grand scheme to woo consumers back to Nokia, so I'm reading into Williams's comments that Nokia's working on devices running Android and Windows Mobile. There. I said it. Perhaps it's not the end of Nokia after all. [Die Presse via Electricpig]

Update: Our early morning hysteria has just been crushed. CRUSHED. Nokia told Engadget that Williams was misquoted by Die Presse and they're in the process of taking the quote down. So, to be clear, they are NOT going to be releasing maps for the other platforms. Way to ruin the fun, Nokia.

DISCUSSION

This would definitely promote OVI Maps. Location based services are the future, and they are the next big form of advertising. Nokia want's a big peace of that cake, and has the means by owning over 40% of the global market. Going over to an other platform opens up a broader customer base.

I don't believe in the notion of people buying Nokia phones because of the free navigation feature. They buy them, because they are very good devices, and it won't hurt Nokia one bit to have one of their apps running on different handsets.

This on the other hand would be so beneficial for us costumers. First of all, here in Europe we don't get free Google Maps navigation with our Android devices. Second, Google Maps navigation is a great thing, BUT, and I write it with capitals for a reason, it depends on constant data transfer. That is ok in the US, because there you stay in one country with the same provider all along your trip. On the other hand here in Europe most trips you use a GPS device for really is not around the city, but going abroad. That means at the boarder you'll be switching to a foreign provider. Data transfer costs are ENORMOUS while roaming outside of you native country. Really, it's crazy, one of my friends went to London on a business trip, and over one weekend he racked up a $3000 bill just by checking e-mail and surfing a bit..

So for us Europeans the only sensible way to navigate is with downloadable maps on a native app. If Google where to introduce this option, they would eat the whole global navigation market with one big gulp. I think Nokia want's to prevent this from happening, and this is why they are thinking of bringing OVI Maps to other platforms.