Finnish handset manufacturer
) has announced that it will expand its "Here" Drive+ mapping
application to all smartphones running on
) Windows Phone8 OS (operating System). Nokia Lumia is the only
Windows OS-based handset to have the Here branded maps.
Nokia has launched two new mapping applications, namely, Here
Drive+ and Here Transit. Both the applications will be available
on the Windows Phone Store soon. Drive+ provides global
turn-by-turn voice navigation access even in offline mode. Drive+
also comes with additional features like 'My Commute' that
provides travel recommendations based on traffic conditions.
Furthermore, the navigational coverage within Drive+ can also be
upgraded from local to global, from within the app.
Here Transit, on the other hand, allows users to chalk out
travel routes and simultaneously access previous destinations and
transit stations. However, Here Transit will be available on
other Windows OS-based phones in select markets.
According to the company, sharing its mapping database with
other Windows smartphone manufacturers will not only increase the
user base of its mapping technology but will also fortify the
Windows Phone8 Platform.
Nokia is committed to improve its mapping feature and has
previously shared its mapping application with
) iPhone and
) Android-based phones. Last year, the company acquired 3D
mapping service company, Earthmine, to enhance its presence in
the mapping space.
According to research firm IDC, Nokia accounts for a major 79%
of the total 7 million Windows phones shipped in the first
quarter of 2013. This leaves Nokia with an opportunity to expand
its Here application to 1.47 million Windows-based
In the first quarter of 2013, the company's Here segment
performed poorly as net revenue declined 22% annually. We believe
that sharing the mapping application with other Windows phone
developers will not only improve Here's revenue prospect but will
also strengthen its mapping technology.
Currently, Nokia carries a Zacks Rank #3 (Hold).
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