Nokia has announced the upcoming release of a new, free version of Ovi Maps for all its smartphones, which includes turn-by-turn voice navigation for 74 countries in 46 languages, real-time traffic updates for 10 countries, and maps for over 180 countries.
It's news that's sure to make Tom Tom and Navigon shareholders wince, but it's not like they didn't have any warning - Nokia purchased mapping and navigation company Navteq for $8.1 billion dollars back in 2007.
The move pushes the navigation features in Nokia smartphones ahead of those running Google's Android operating system, which had free turn-by-turn navigation added in version 1.6 (but only functions within the U.S.), and the iPhone, where this kind of functionality requires a yearly fee.
Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President at Nokia said "Why have multiple devices that work in only one country or region? Put it all together, make it free, make it global and you almost double the potential size of the mobile navigation market".
Currently supported devices include the X6, N97 mini, E72, E55, E52, 6730 classic, 6710 Navigator, 5800 Xpressmusic, 5800 Navigation Edition and the 5230, with support for other Nokia devices coming soon. Head over to nokia.com/maps for the free download.
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