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Nokia has today announced plans to release a new version of Ovi Maps for its smartphones that includes high-end walk and drive navigation at no extra cost, available for download at www.nokia.com/maps. This move has the potential to nearly double the size of the current mobile navigation market. The new version of Ovi Maps includes high-end car and pedestrian navigation features, such as turn-by-turn voice guidance for 74 countries, in 46 languages, and traffic information for more than 10 countries, as well as detailed maps for more than 180 countries. Check out the rest of this press release after the break.

“Why have multipledevices that work 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,” explained Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President, Nokia. “Nokia is the only company with a mobile navigation service for both drivers and pedestrians that works across the world. Unlike the legacy car navigation manufacturers, we don’t make you buy maps for different countries or regions even if you’re only visiting for a few days. We offer both navigation and maps free of charge, with all the high-end functionality and features thatpeople now expect.”

“The large-scale availability of free-of-charge mobile phone navigation offerings using high-quality map data will be a game changer for the navigation industry,” said Thilo Koslowski, Vice President Automotive and Vehicle ICT at Gartner. “Such offerings will accelerate mass market adoption for navigation solutions and shift innovation focus to location-based services that go beyond traditional routing benefits.”

For Nokia, removing the costs associated with navigation for drivers and pedestrians allows the companyto quickly activate a massive user base to which it can offer new location features, content and services. This is part of Nokia’s strategy to lead the market in mobile maps, navigation and location-based services. The move is also in line with Nokia’s vision that the next wave of growth will be centered onthe location-aware, social internet — as the ‘where’ people are doing things becomes as important as the ‘what’ they are doing.

According to research firm Canalys, the number of people worldwide using GPS navigation on theirmobile phones was approximately 27 million at the end of 2009. With this announcement Nokia potentially grows the size of this installed user base toabout 50 million by enabling smartphone owners, with compatible devices and devicesthat will be made compatible shortly to activate free drive and walk navigation through a simple download of the new Ovi Maps. Nokia will further grow thisbase as it quickly adds more smartphones to the compatible devices list. Canalys also estimated in 2009 that the installed base of smartphones withintegrated GPS was 163 million units worldwide, of which Nokia accounted formore than half (51%) having shipped cumulatively 83 million GPS devices.

“This is a game changing move. By leveraging our NAVTEQ acquisition, and our context sensitive service offering, we can now put a complete navigation system in the palm ofyour hand, wherever in the world you are, whenever you need it – and at no extra cost,” continued Anssi Vanjoki. “By adding cameras at no extra cost to our phones we quickly became the biggest camera manufacturer in the world. The aim of the new Ovi Maps is to enable us to do the same for navigation.”

By removing the added costs for consumers Nokia expects to fuel the take-up of mobile maps andnavigation providing its ecosystem of partners with clear business opportunities:

Ovi Maps is immediatelyavailable for download for 10 Nokia handsets, including the popular Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic and Nokia E72, with more Nokia smartphones expected to be added in the coming weeks. In the meantime, current owners of Nokia smartphones that are compatible with the new Ovi Maps can download it free of charge from nokia.com/maps.

Current list of compatible Nokia devices: Nokia N97 mini, Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia 5800 Navigation Edition, Nokia E52, Nokia E55, Nokia E72, Nokia 5230, Nokia 6710 Navigator, Nokia 6730 classic and Nokia X6. For the latest device list, pleasego to nokia.com/maps

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