Nokia is just about to announce “something big” related to its Ovi services, but, before this to happen, Reuters is reporting that the world’s largest handset maker plans to offer free GPS turn-by-turn navigation on its smartphones. Not in select markets, but worldwide.
The news comes several months after Google has announced its free navigation service for its also free Android operating system – in the US only.
Both Google’s and Nokia’s offerings are likely to harm big GPS services providers like Garmin and TomTom.
Nokia already has some phones that provide free navigation – like the 5800 Navigation Edition and the 2700 Navigation Edition.
Update: Nokia has just confirmed that “a new version of Ovi Maps” will include “high-end walk and drive navigation at no extra cost”, providing “ turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries, in 46languages, and traffic information for more than 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for more than 180 countries”. Users can download the new Ovi Maps via its official website. Free Events guides, free Lonely Planet guides and free Michelin guides are included, too.
The list of supported phones currently includes:
- Nokia X6
- Nokia N97 Mini
- Nokia E72
- Nokia E55
- Nokia E52
- Nokia 6730 classic
- Nokia 6710 Navigator
- Nokia 5800 XpressMusic
- Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition
- Nokia 5230
As you can see, the N97 is not included in the list, and neither is the Maemo-based N900. Update 2: according to Nokia, Ovi Maps 3.0.3 for the N97 will be available starting January 28. However, the N900 will probably not get free navigation anytime soon.
Smartphones with the new Ovi Maps preinstalled will be launched by Nokia starting March.
A video promo of the new and free Nokia Ovi Maps can be watched below:
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- Google Maps Navigation now available to Android users in Europe