Free Nokia GPS Navigation – Another Nail in the Coffin for Garmin and TomTom
As we mentioned earlier, TomTom and Garmin’s standalone GPS devices are quickly becoming obsolete. That’s because today’s smartphones offer either free navigation software built-in or more cost-effective alternatives. TomTom attempted to make up some of its losses by offering a $70 navigation app on the iTunes App Store but took another heavy blow when Google’s Android 2.0 started rolling out free turn-by-turn navigation with voice prompts powered by Google Maps.
Now, Nokia is following suit by offering free navigation software on ten of its smartphones including the Nokia N97 and the Nokia E72. Nokia users can now download Ovi Maps and Ovi Navigation as well as free city guides. After acquiring Navtek in 2007, Nokia is also able to provide traffic updates and pedestrian directions. Nokia also announced that these navigation services would work even without an Internet connection.
Mobiledia quoted Nokia’s head of marketing, who said that offering free navigation will help Nokia phones remain competitive against iPhone and BlackBerry devices. This edge is much needed, especially since Nokia has been losing ground in the battle of high-end smartphones. While Nokia has consistently produced excellent handsets, their prices remain very high when compared to other smartphones. By adding the value of free navigation and obviating the need for consumers to be an additional $100 to $200 GPS device, Nokia just might win back some of those customers who were scared away by the pricetag factor.
What do you think? Would you buy a Nokia phone for the navigation and traffic maps included for free? Or do you still prefer a dedicated GPS device such as a Garmin or TomTom?Tell us your thoughts in the comments.
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