In an effort to regain ground in the market for mobile mapping services dominated by Apple and Google, Nokia is planning to soon release new, free-of-charge map apps for mobile devices running Google’s Android and Apple’s iOS platforms, The Wall Street Journal is reporting. Company executive Sean Fernback has revealed that the apps are scheduled for release before the end of 2014.
According to Mr. Fernback, an executive at ‘Nokia’s Here’ mapping unit, the apps would be unique in that they would work without an Internet connection. Currently, the Finnish company’s main mapping business is geared toward corporate customers that pay licensing fees to use the digital-mapping platform, but now, they want to make their maps available to consumers on a larger number of mobile devices. “We will go where the scale is,” said Fernback.
“For now, maps from Google and Apple dominate the consumer market for mobile devices. Both companies would need to approve the inclusion of Nokia’s new product in their app stores, but Nokia doesn’t expect this to be a problem. “I’m convinced people are looking for alternatives,” Mr. Fernback said. “Google Maps is a good solution for many—their maps work very well—but it has looked the same and done the same for a long time.”
Back in 2012, Nokia released a mapping app for iOS to capitalize on initial criticism of Apple’s own Maps app. However, the app received poor reviews and scanty downloads before it was eventually pulled from App store.