Until today, Navigation has been kept in the hands of the few. Today that changes. We realised that billions of people around the world already have mobile phones that are perfectly suited to delivering Navigation. So we’re going to let them do that. From this day on, Navigation on your Nokia, with Ovi Maps, will be free for everyone, everywhere, to get people to the places they love. Now, and forever.
"Nokia used to charge for navigation packages that included turn-by-turn directions. Well that all goes away now. Right now you can get full turn-by-turn directions, covering 74 countries in 46 languages as well as detailed maps for 180 countries."
As many of you may know, Google turned heads three months ago when it made it's turn-by-turn navigation free in their Google Maps application on its Android 2.0 mobile operating system.
Now Nokia is trying to take this a step further, by making its Ovi Maps application, and Navigation free, international and capable of operating completely offline. The world's largest cell phone company said today that Ovi Maps will be available immediately on about 20 million existing devices around the world at no charge whatsoever.
This is good news for consumers, but spells more trouble for makers of personal navigation devices such as Garmin, and TomTom.
Nokia has a small footprint in the United States so todays news won't immediately affect a lot of consumers there. But it's a sign of the Nokia's commitment to navigation and could eventually help Nokia make a bigger push into the U.S. market.
The Ovi Maps Application by itself was free, just like Google Maps on many smart phones. Nokia used to charge a subscription for navigation packages that included turn-by-turn directions.