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Blackberry Mobility Featured Article

January 21, 2010

Free Navigation is Nokia's Answer to Shrinking Market Share

By Paula Bernier, Executive Editor, IP Communications Magazines

In an apparent move to stem its shrinking mobile device market share, Nokia (News - Alert) will offer free navigation capabilities on its cell phones.

Industry pundits believe the move could make free navigation a “table legs” feature on mobile devices and, as a result, adversely affect navigation device specialists such as Garmin (News - Alert) and TomTom.
'It will help us to sell smartphones,' Anssi Vanjoki, head of marketing at Nokia, was quoted as saying in reports. 'It will serve as a defense to our product prices.'
Apparently, Google, which began offering free navigation on its Motorola (News - Alert) Droid smartphone in North America last year, forced Nokia’s hand on this issue. Navigation has reportedly been an important revenue stream for Nokia, which in 2008 bought Navteq1 for $8.1 billion. According to reports, a third of Nokia’s expected $2.84 billion in services revenue in 2011 were supposed to come from navigation. Of course, whether Nokia will be able to replace that lost revenue with the new business it hopes to capture by retaining and recruiting new smartphone customers remains to be seen.

Edited by Michael Dinan

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