A customer of the late Nav4All has filed a complaint with the EU, alleging that Nokia abused its market position to drive the competition out of business. The complaint (pdf) points out that Nokia's acquisition of map-supplier Navtaq was approved on the basis that ongoing relationships would continue to exist. But according to …
This single person may have to represent himself, or the EU may take it up and hire some low cost lawyer compared to the $2000 an hour lawyers that Nokia will hire. Nokia win, Consumers lose, lawyers get rich.
Quick - Apple should buy TomTom - they own a mapping company !
"google" and "maps"
"google" and "maps" and "oh-shucks-we-are-lost-and-have-no-mobile-signal-so-really-wish-we-had-something-with-saved-no-on-demand-map-data"
Nav4All == Fools
Whatever the outcome of this complaint, Nav4All still stand accussed of being incredibly shortsighted/naiive by not assuming that the worst might happen, and putting in place plans to switch to another maps provider at short notice.
Any company that is "locked into" a single essential supplier agreement should assume the worst might happen when that essential supplier is purchased by a larger organisation - change is then guaranteed, including the early termination of any ongoing deals (I'm pretty sure such termination terms would be specified in the contract).
Transitioning from one supplier of map data to another cannot be that difficult, there are numerous mapping applications out there already that work with multiple map sources, they're just using slightly different APIs - the point is the underlying data is all the same, it's just packaged slightly differently.
Nav4All as a company is/was just incompetently managed, and that's not Navteqs fault.
'Google', ''maps' & 'Cyprus'.
Not getting something for nothing?
You mean I have to pay for a service I have the benefit of? Has the world gone mad?
I'm sure the EU are supposed to be protecting the customer, and as 1.4 million downloads show, there are a lot of people very happy that Nokia introduced turn by turn satnav for free. You can include me in that too.
Nav4All really should have been a little bit smarter.
Release vs Develop
Whilst Nav4All couldn't release an application using an alternative map source surely there is no clause stating they weren't allow tto develop one. Sounds like Nav4All neglected a Plan B...
Let us hope that the European Commission
does indeed investigate this case ; as the late (?) financial crisis has shown, without adequate regulation, our vaunted markets always work to the detriment of the consumer....
Nokia kills babies
You already linked to http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/01/08/gps_kiddy_killer/ (yes, 2008).
"Nav4All was the only product of the 13 examined that was able to plot routes making appropriate use of ring roads and thoroughfares whilst avoiding residential areas. All the competing systems found the shortest route, regardless of the local environments through which it passed."
Maybe that's no longer the case?
"but Navteq's requirement that Nav4All not use any competing data source provides more circumstantial evidence. "
Of what ? That clause was in their contract even before Nokia came on the scene.
So this is another in the now apparently continuing series of "Idiots fail to read contracts, assess risks" stories.
"That effectively prevented the company exploring alternatives before the plug was pulled."
No, it didn't. It prevented them from commercialising any alternative system while they were still under contract with NavTeq. Which is different.
If you need a satnav
get a sat nav. I've used nokia maps and it takes ages to calculate, it sends you on busy roads that are miles out of the way and it's just not as easy to program or use as a tomtom, for instance.
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