Nokia takes on Apple Maps with Here.com
Nokia has introduced a mapping application for the iPhone and other platforms and rebranded its geo-location services under the Here.com umbrella as it sought to exploit a bright spot in its product mix.
Nokia also said it was partnering with Mozilla, maker of the Firefox web browser, and will acquire a Bay Area start-up called Earthmine to provide 3D street views for its maps.
The new iPhone app, created in the HTML 5 language that works on many different types of computing platform, is a clear effort to capitalise on the much-publicised weaknesses of Apple's new mapping product.
Michael Halbherr, Nokia's executive vice president for location and commerce services, joked at a San Francisco launch event on Tuesday that the iPhone app was created "on the off chance that there are some iPhone users who want a different map".
Nokia executives stressed the advent of "computational mapping" that would allow users to generate a wide range of maps from the cloud-based Here.com services.
Mapping has emerged as a critical application in the emerging mobile computing economy.
Nokia's mapping services are seen as a strong point for the company, even as its market share in the handset business has plunged in the face of competition from Apple and makers of Android smartphones.