Nokia and Android phones are going to get an upgrade. Phone owners can now download the free GPS navigation software for Nokia and Android phones. In response to Google’s offering of free GPS navigation to all Android 1.6 OS phones, Nokia retaliates with its own free turn-by-turn GPS navigation software. The high-end market for smart phones is getting ever more competitive which benefits us all, consumers. The Finnish giant is flexing its might and is seriously trying to regain its lost footing in the smart phone category. While it is still the world’s biggest cell phone maker, it lags a poor 5th in smartphone sales worldwide.
Nokia announced on January 22, 2010, that owners of all their 10 GPS-enabled phones can now download this free turn-by-turn GPS and use it for free. Now, the TomTom iPhone App (Car Kit also available) has a huge competition. This is a smart move to counter Google’s launch of its Android based Navigation Software for the US market. Nokia is hoping to break into a bigger market share in the American market by also offering a free GPS navigation app or software.
It already confirmed that all future releases of Nokia phones will have this free turn-by-turn GPS navigation installed by default.
The new Nokia Ovi Maps is accurate and fast thanks to Nokia’s 2008 $8 billion dollar purchase of NavTeq, the American software company that makes digital map data and content. In the coming months Nokia smart phone users will also have free access to Michelin and the Lonely Planet travel guides which contains information on more than 1000 locations around the world! You don’t need a travel agent anymore to book your hotels or find good restaurants. Just fire up your Nokia and check Michelin’s recommendation for lodging and dinner.
These sudden offering of free GPS turn-by-turn navigation by Google for Android phones and Nokia will adversely affect the sales of TomTom and Garmin, the dedicated GPS navigation makers. While they appear to be nonchalant about this development, I bet they will be selling less and less units of their products in the coming years. Smartphones are going to be all-around devices that can make TomTom XL 325S Text-to-Speech GPS and Garmin Nuvi 850 Portable GPS Navigator obsolete.