Nokia Corporation (ADR) (NYSE:NOK) has re-launched HERE maps and navigation app for Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS after achieving 4m downloads on its Android version since October 2013 when this app was first launched.
This navigation app, HERE, would be free to download and use,as on Android, and its chief attraction would be that maps of 118 countries would be stored on the device. This can be used even offline, which would in turn save substantial mobile network data charges.
The app is mainly competing against Google maps and contains various new features like detailed offline navigation for drivers, public transport direction for pedestrians and capacity to provide live traffic data when put online.
HERE was first showcased in 2012 for the exclusive use of Nokia’s own Windows smartphones. It was even launched as an iOS app in November, 2012. However, Apple removed this app from its stores in December, 2013 as they believed that it was harming the user experience. Since then the app was launched for Samsung Elect owned Galaxy phones in August, 2014. However, it went for beta version in Google Pay Store in December. In February, 2015, the app came out of beta and it had already been downloaded 3m times till then. To this, Nokia added another 1m Android download in one month.
It may be noted here that Google maps app has already reached the 10m download mark since its launch on iOS in December, 2012. It is expected that with the launch of HERE app on iOS, it would receive a significant boost and would soon cross the 4m download mark.
Although Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) had acquired Nokia in April, 2014, ownership of HERE remained with the company left behind and still operating as an independent entityin Finland.
Inspite of the fact that HERE is a free app, Nokia shall still earn revenue mainly through licensing deals for its data, like satellite navigation systems installed in cars.