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Free GPS Navigation – From Nokia

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Besides advanced navigation, Ovi Maps users will be provided with a plethora of third-party location-based services, to create an intuitive geo-connected experience: weather information depending on one’s location, concert or movie screenings within three kilometres of one’s location – complete with movie times and how-to-book details; the ability to update one’s Facebook status together with one’s exact location and an image – that too directly from the home screen; and Lonely Planet’s and Michelin’s travel guides, with information on restaurants, hotels, shops, and more, for over 1000 cities. With time, developers will offer more content, which users will be able to add to their Ovi Maps.

Weather information

Movie screenings and location

Facebook updates with location information

Michelin travel guide

The application with free navigation is currently only supported on the Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, Nokia E52, Nokia E55, Nokia E72, Nokia 5230, Nokia 6710 Navigator, Nokia 6730 classic and Nokia X6, with more coming in the following weeks; GPS-enabled devices to be launch post-March 2010 will already come pre-installed with a fully licensed Ovi Maps, as well as the in-app-built Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides.

Nokia claims that this move will double the mobile navigation market – this could indeed be factual as not many phone manufacturers offer free GPS navigation, and consumers are reluctant to buy licences. Research firm Canalys estimated that by the end of 2009 there were over 27 million users who made of GPS navigation through their mobile phones.

Industry analyst Gartner has considered Nokia’s strategy a “game changer for the navigation industry”, as the company will be invading GPS makers’ territory as well. At the time of the announcement, TomTom’s stock plummeted 13.64%, while Garmin was down by 4.12%.

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By , Editor-in-Chief, Johannesburg office

Published on Jan 21st, 2010 GMT +2

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