back to article Nokia opens Maps to rivals, flogs uber-budget €15 phone

A Linux phone running Mozilla OS can be found on Nokia’s stand at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week – but it’s not a "Plan B". It’s more a statement of intent from the Finnish handset company about its Maps platform, which Nokia is opening up and licensing more aggressively to non-Nokia mobile devices. CEO Stephen …

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  1. Silverburn
    Coat

    Better names

    Nokia Maps is rebranded as HERE Maps (and HERE Drive and HERE Transit)

    How about HERE, THERE and EVERYWHERE?

    Thanks. I'm here all night.

    1. Ian Michael Gumby Silver badge
      WTF?

      Re: Better names

      Maybe it sounds better in Finnish?

      Here, There and Everywhere ?

      Täällä, täällä ja kaikkialla?

      Thats the Google translation.

  2. Tom7

    Puzzled

    Why would I want Nokia maps licensed for my Samsung phone? What does it get me that Google maps doesn't?

    1. Arnold Lieberman

      Re: Puzzled

      Offline maps for starters. Very useful when route planning whilst out of coverage or to avoid roaming costs abroad. It's the one reason I used Symbian for as long as I did.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Puzzled

        >Very useful when route planning whilst out of coverage or to avoid roaming costs abroad

        https://support.google.com/gmm/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2650218

        ... pretty much essential when you use wi-fi only Android devices too - many of which still have full GPS.

        1. David Hicks
          Stop

          Re: Puzzled

          My old N900 had the whole world on it, not just a few choice sections. It was really useful when in the remote outback areas of Australia with no signal or data connection for days or weeks at a time. Can you do that with any other map system?

          That said, they weren't so good at keeping up to date with new roads in Oz, and there were a lot of false positives in some of the more remote areas - tracks I was relying on that turned out to be old or 'management -only'

        2. Mark .

          Re: Puzzled

          On Google maps, "offline maps" means you can select a few city-sized regions at a time. And there's a hard coded limit on the number (I forget how many, less than 10), even if you have GBs of storage free!

          On Nokia maps, "offline maps" means you select what maps you want, countries or continents at a time, or even the whole world if you want.

          The Google method means you have to know in advance - that's feasible if you're just travelling to a city, but not if you'll be travelling about in the country. Also it's much easier to just always store entire countries/continents/the world, rather than having to update every time you go travelling.

          (I use Android, but still waiting for this feature 7 years after Nokia did it.)

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Meh

            Re: Puzzled

            "On Nokia maps, "offline maps" means you select what maps you want, countries or continents at a time, or even the whole world if you want."

            The other things that Nokia Maps offers is speed reminders, camera warnings, decent lane guidance, far better voice directions, and better voice quality. I might also add that Google Maps has a bad habit of bailing out of an "in progress" navigation if it loses network connection, leading to the bong of death, which translates into English as "you're on your own at this next junction, mate!"

            Google Maps is very good in so many ways, where it falls down is limited functionality and the fact that it is built for a networked world that hasn't yet appeared, and shows little sign of doing so. I'd like to think I could soon buy Nokia Drive for my SGS2, but I fully expect Nokia to successfully botch the opportunity, by either over-pricing the product, and/or making it functionally unattractive in a desparate attempt to try and boost sales of Lumias.

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Puzzled

            "On Google maps, "offline maps" means you can select a few city-sized regions at a time. And there's a hard coded limit on the number (I forget how many, less than 10), even if you have GBs of storage free!"

            Of course! Otherwise you wouldn't have to keep telling Google where you are ;)

          3. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

            Re: Puzzled

            It's 5 maps and I can't see Google fixing it. If you are offline they aren't selling ads or your location - so what's init for them?

          4. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Puzzled

            >On Google maps, "offline maps" means you can select a few city-sized regions at a time. And there's a hard coded limit on the number (I forget how many, less than 10), even if you have GBs of storage free!

            Perhaps you should actually use it before explaining it? ... I have 3 offline maps cached at the minute total size <200Mb which cover all of Nothern England - and much better than my in-car when it comes to new builds and industrial estates.

            1. Mark .

              Re: Puzzled

              Yes, I have used it, that's how I knew about it(!)

              Sure, you can awkwardly arrange 3 of your slots to cover nothern England, and then still not have enough for other places in the world you might want to travel to. And it's hopeless if you'll be driving across Europe, or around a wide area in the US, say. Meanwhile, on Nokia Maps I just clicked the countries or continents I wanted - none of this "arrange 3 of my limited number of slots to cover part of a country".

              The fact that it only comes to less than 200MB is exactly my point - if I have GBs free, why can't I use it?

              1. GBL Initialiser

                Re: Puzzled

                "The fact that it only comes to less than 200MB is exactly my point - if I have GBs free, why can't I use it?"

                As said, Google are in the business of gathering data on you, storing it, and using it to sell you stuff. If you are offline then they can't gather data about you. Arguably they could have it all uploaded later when you go online but this would be harder to spin as they couldn't use the "necessary to provide the service" excuse.

            2. RubberJohnny

              Re: Puzzled

              "Perhaps you should actually use it before explaining it? ... I have 3 offline maps cached at the minute total size <200Mb which cover all of Nothern England - and much better than my in-car when it comes to new builds and industrial estates."

              3 maps? What a ridiculous faff. It's 2013 and my £60 tomtom 8 years ago had the whole country in with nothing to do but switch on and go. Google have some quality maps, but it's a crap user system.

        3. Z80
          Unhappy

          Available in 211countries and regions

          Looks useful for my next trip to Japa...

          Oh.

        4. RubberJohnny

          Re: Puzzled

          "https://support.google.com/gmm/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=2650218"

          That's a failure. I tried to use this on a trip, but the area you can pre-cache is too small, Nokia can store the entire world, the google pre-loading couldn't even select half of England.

    2. dogged

      Re: Puzzled

      Navteq.

      Proper maps from a company that sells maps, not your personal information.

      Oh, and they're available offline by default, which is nice.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Puzzled

      Because Nokia's maps are really good. They're by far the best that I've used on a mobile device, including my tom-tom.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Puzzled

      Nothing.

      Google Maps already does Offline, and has FAR better POI and live traffic information, along with Streetview, better satellite imagery, indoor maps, better public transport maps.

      The only people I can ever see this appealing to, as those desperate for NAVTEQ maps, but like the rest of the world, hate Windows Phone/Lumia with a passion. There is now an option.

      For the rest of us, Google Maps is just fine.

  3. Irongut

    HERE

    Be Dragons

  4. ratfox Silver badge
    Go

    Good, good

    Google Maps need the competition, and they need as many users as they can to keep up map quality. A map service simply cannot compete on quality without user-submitted content.

    If I was Apple, I would launch a desktop version of their maps as soon as possible, and offer on it a proper way to report issues. The little tool they have on their phones is just not going to be enough.

  5. Joe K
    FAIL

    Nokia NEVER learn

    Part of the reason for people to move primarily onto, then stick with, the iPhone range, and Samsung Galaxy models is because you know exactly what you are getting and upgrading barely involves thinking about. iPhone 5 is better than 4, Galaxy 3 is better than 2, etc.

    Now with the Lumia's you have, in order of release:

    800

    710

    900

    610

    510

    820

    920

    620

    822

    810

    505

    520

    720

    105

    Which is better? Fuck knows, and cares enough to even bother finding out.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia NEVER learn

      Too true Bro', too true.

    2. Anonymous Coward 101

      Re: Nokia NEVER learn

      I kind of see your point, but if anything Nokia have sorted out their naming conventions since Lumia. The nadir was when they had lots of random four-digit pincode phones that nobody could remember. It was as though Nokia couldn't be arsed giving their phones memorable names. Also their N series phones where the numbering would jump around. The N96, N85 and N79 were all the same underlying device, but people would think the bigger numbers were better (in fact they were all fucking terrible).

    3. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Holmes

      Re: Nokia NEVER learn

      The higher the first digit the better it is. In theory the 'no brainer' upgrade is the next one which comes out with the same first digit.

    4. Mark .

      Re: Nokia NEVER learn

      Quite right - iphone 5 is better than iphone 4, iphone 4 is better than iphone 4S - wait. But still we know that iphone 4/4S was better than 3GS (not to be confused with a Samsung GS3, or indeed a Stargate SG-3) which was better than an iphone 3S, sorry, iphone 3G, which was better than iphone 2. Hang on a moment.

      But yes, it's true, of course everyone knew that the iphone 5 would be the next one after iphone 4, that's why the media were going on about it for 18 months, when actually the 4S was released instead.

      Still, looking forward to the iphone 6, or iphone 5S, or iphone 4G, in whichever order they come.

    5. vishal vashisht
      WTF?

      Re: Nokia NEVER learn

      no offense but if you can't figure it out, you shouldn't be allowed a phone.

      the x20 series are better than the x00 series. The 15 Euro 105 is the most basic of the lot.

      Most of us can actually tell the difference between iterations. ie 920 is newer than the 900 in the same way that 5 is better than 4. Also since 920 is higher than 820, it's a reasonable assumption that it is a more premium model.

      1. David Hicks
        Pint

        Re: Nokia NEVER learn

        The 15 euro 105 is a series 30 phone, not a winphone at all. The 109 is a series 40 phone. The reason the 105 is notable at all is that it is their new bottom-of-the-line featurephone and it has a colour screen, not because it's a windows device.

        Which is a shame, at 15 quid I might have got one to have a look...

        1. Duncan 4
          Thumb Down

          Re: Nokia NEVER learn

          possibly another reason why nokia doesn't have a nokia 1, 2 ,3 is they've made more than a handful of phones in their time also the range is genreally wider than one line, iphone is one at a time as they know thats all the faithful need

    6. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia NEVER learn

      Let's see... Samsung:

      Galaxy S

      Galaxy Ace

      Galaxy SII

      Galaxy SIII

      Galaxy SIII Mini

      Galaxy Y

      Galaxy Ace Plus

      Galaxy Ace 2

      Galaxy Pocket

      Galaxy Beam

      Galaxy Note II

      Galaxy Glo

      Galaxy Pro

      Galaxy Fit

      Much better.

    7. Sharkit
      WTF?

      Re: Nokia NEVER learn

      If that's too difficult for you I wonder how you even managed to register here. It's quite simple. They release them out of numerical order to fill in the most important (to their minds) price points first. If you want a Lumia now you have a choice betwen the low end 520 or 620, mid range 720 or 820 or flagship 920. That's 5 phones getting better in numerical order. Let me go to GSM Arena and choose a Galaxy, should I get...

      Galaxy Note 8

      Galaxy Young

      Galaxy Fame

      Galaxy Express

      Galaxy Xcover 2

      Galaxy S II Plus

      Galaxy Grand i9082

      Galaxy Grand i9080

      Galaxy Axiom

      Galaxy Stratosphere II

      Galaxy Discover

      Galaxy Pop SHV

      Galaxy Premier

      etc, etc, etc, etc, etc

      I did this as a joke, I didn't even expect there were half that many. Sorry, Nokia has 5 phones and it's obvious the differences and price points, Samsung is a mess (a very successful mess).

    8. Ilgaz

      Re: Nokia NEVER learn

      Worst thing is, lower model is lighter and thinner than high end model.

      Next, they will start doing E72 type mistakes, an upgrade to E71 business phone which can't take proper macro photos.

      See symbian haters? That was what we were talking about when we said symbian os is just a victim.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Specs

    I've just looked over the specs of the 109, it's 14.9 mm thick! I remember a time when phone manufacturers would pride themselves on making small and thin phones, but this!? It's nearly as thick as two iPhones.

    OTOH, I love the way the blurb says 'pages will blast onto the screen'. Yeah, right. Who in their right mind would use this phone for browsing the interwebs? Furthermore, who would use a phone like this to connect to FB or any other social network?

    If they could have made a small affordable good-looking phone with a battery that would last for a week, I would buy one as a stand-by unit in case my iPhone fails, but this is just not on.

    1. dogged

      Re: Specs

      It's nearly as thick as two iPhones.

      I would buy one as a stand-by unit in case my iPhone fails

      The Asha series tends to be low-cost handsets with a long battery life for regions of the world where a mobile handset might be the only connectivity you're going to get.

      Your favoured comparison-item indicates that you are not the target market.

    2. Mark .

      Re: Specs

      Wait, did you seriously criticise a 15 euro phone, for being thicker than a £500 phone? (Also the volume of a 109 may well be pretty small anyway - when a phone is that small, it's harder to make it thin too.)

      There was a time when a phone couldn't do things like apps at all. Like year 2000-era £15 phones, or a 2007 iphone.

      1. DrXym Silver badge

        Re: Specs

        It's a candy bar phone for people who need nothing else. I doubt they especially care that it looks a bit chunky when it only costs 15 euros.

    3. Quxy
      Facepalm

      Just to be clear...

      The 109 runs S40, not WP8.

      If you're part of the target market, you're probably more interested in the fact that it bounces when thrown against the wall (true!) than that it's as thick as two iPhone 5s.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Specs

      You’re comparing a 109 expected to retail at £15 sim free with an iPhone retailing at over £500 sim free!?

      The 109 is obviously intended for the developing world where 100’s of millions already use phones like it to browse the web. It’ll probably still do 75% of what the iPhone can, at 3% of the price. Also looking at the specs it will last 780h on 2g, in other words it could last over a month as a backup not just the week you want.

      Was this a serious, if misguided, spec comparison, or where you just fishing for compliment on your choice of a iphone?

      If the latter. Then well done you bought a phone that's at least 25% better than the 109 and only had to pay 330% more for it.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Or maybe a warning shot across MS's bows

    Maybe they are saying now our subsidy has ended give give us a discount on licensing fees or else.

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Apple release one smartphone each year (with several variants) at premium to mouth-watering price points (you can also buy the old models at a discount, from ebay etc.).

    Nokia now have 5 up to date smartphones: 520, 620, 720, 820, 920: the 520 being the entry level model and the 920 the high end, all pretty much compatible. The low end device, the 520, is considerably cheaper than the iPhone 5 and probably has enough functionality to meet the needs of a large part of the market.

    Whatever else you make of the phones, this is not hard to understand, even for my 90 year old aunt!

    1. Silverburn
      Headmaster

      mouth-watering = eye-watering?

      1. Old Handle

        mouth-watering = eye-watering?

        I guess that depends on whether you're buying or selling.

  9. Graham Jordan

    No new top end?

    *Sigh*

    Well there goes my custom. Was holding out to see what Nokia would bring during the conference. If the 920 is the glory of Nokia for the foreseeable future I think I'll pass. My brick carrying days ended with the N95.

  10. Stephen Channell
    Thumb Up

    I'm pretty sure this is about the iPhone6

    Apple didn’t dump google maps out of spite; it did it because it wanted to get into turn-by-turn navigation. I’m pretty sure Nokia are pitching to replace Apples woeful maps application, rather than entering the Android market

    1. Philip Lewis
      Pint

      Re: I'm pretty sure this is about the iPhone6

      Now, that might be an interesting turn of events, but I cannot see Elop's overlords from Redmond signing off on this.

  11. Shonko Kid
    FAIL

    Meh

    Does Nokia really have no competent industrial designers now? All these WP phones just look the same, and it's quickly becoming Meh. I bet even Elop can't tell them apart.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meh

      "All these WP phones just look the same, and it's quickly becoming Meh"

      Well, half the developed world are in thrall to Apple, and their phones all look the same.

      1. Shonko Kid
        FAIL

        Re: Meh

        "and their phones all look the same."

        Yes, but you'll notice that they don't have a dozen different models of it all looking the same. Their product strategy is clearly a singular one, and you basically just have to choose the specs/price you want.

        Compare to Nokia of old, when they ruled the market, and filled every possible niche with a wide variety of form factors. Not just picking your screen size and price point. Dull.

    2. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

      Re: Meh

      What a depressing thought. Do many people buy smartphones on looks? Obviously a few do, but I hoped it was a tiny minority.

      I don't really understand the point anyway. Mostly they all look the same, because they're all a vaguely rectangular shape with a big glass front, and sometimes a button or three at the bottom. Plus buttons on the side. So your only real choice is materials and colour. The 'cooler' materials seem to be glass and aluminium, which are actually the least suitable ergonomically - because they're more slippery and cold. It's amazing how cold my new aluminium iPhone is when it's 0 degrees and I answer it, as opposed to the Nokia it's just replaced. I really like the rubberised back, preferably coating metal so it's stronger when I drop it.

      Also, if Nokia like their current design, why have their phones look different to each other? If they think this brightly coloured thing is the way to go, it makes sense they do it across their range. Also, they do them all in black, it's just those aren't the ones that get into the marketing shots.

      1. Shonko Kid
        FAIL

        Re: Meh

        "I don't really understand the point anyway. Mostly they all look the same, because they're all a vaguely rectangular shape with a big glass front"

        Yes, that is my point. They're all pretty much the same. You basically choose the largest screen you can comfortably hold, then which colour matches your wardrobe. Dull.

        "Do many people buy smartphones on looks?" Of course they do.

  12. This post has been deleted by a moderator

    1. Philip Lewis
      Devil

      Re: Nokia Maps in Prison

      Bring back the N9x, that's what I say!

    2. TheVogon Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: Nokia Maps in Prison

      You must have missed the exponential increase in Windows Phone sales since the launch of WP8 before even all markets had launched, and that Nokia were back in profit last quarter...Oh - and over 6% UK market share now too:

      http://hexus.net/mobile/news/windows-phone/52129-windows-phone-sales-uk-240-per-cent/

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nokia Maps in Prison

        Calm down RICHTO.

        Nokia profits improved because Elop dismissed a vast swathe of staff, while royalties remained stable. Hardly an auspicious roadmap for future recovery. You know that - if there were any sales to boast about you'd be shouting figures.

        You're just an office boy for a corporate parasite. A sort of management consultancy gone haywire. Please stop making such a fuss about it.

        1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
          Facepalm

          Re: Nokia Maps in Prison

          Ah, the spectacle of one anonymous poster accusing another anonymous poster (who he/she/it disagrees with) of in fact being yet a third pseudonymous poster, in an effort to give weight to his/her/its argument. With the extra special sauce of accusing them of being a paid shill, with even less evidence.

          This is a fun game. Can anyone play? You are Lord Lucan, and I claim my £5.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nokia Maps in Prison

      Windows Phone is now ahead of Blackberry in both the US and the UK. That makes them 3rd - and a long way from dead - sales are still growing rapidly...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Nokia Maps in Prison

        Are you sure about that? When I looked, the figures appeared very promising, especially in Europe. But then IDC or someone came out with global sales that suggested WinPho 8 had dropped 0.1% share in the last quarter of 2012. Whereas it looked to me like they might get close to doubling.

        OK, it's only one analyst. But they're much better at the past than at forecasting the future. It looks like Europe likes them, but not rich-Asia or the US. However with some of the new low-end ones Nokia have the potential to beat Android in the £100 - £200 market, which is probably the fastest growing bit of the smartphone market.

        It's probably not where MS were aiming, but Nokia are. Win decent market share there, and it should get easier at the top-end. Having just had the work Lumia replaced with an iPhone, I can say that there's a lot I miss even from WP7. It had far superior email and contact handling, slightly better call quality, better maps, and bigger writing. All things I think are important in a phone. iOS has the apps of course - but I've got an iPad, so I knew that. I also tend to prefer the tablet for apps, so I personally regard the phone bits as more important than the mobile computer bits.

    4. dogged

      Re: Nokia Maps in Prison

      the Windows Phone market is as dead as a dodo

      There is no Windows Phone market. There never was. It's important to note though, that there is no Android market either. Nobody wants Android. Nobody buys Android.

      People buy smartphones or iPhones or dumbphones. Some people deliberately buy Samsung or HTC or Nokia or Motorola. There is no Windows Phone market. There is no Android market.

      Competent smartphones of any OS will probably sell, provided the OS is easy to use and the hardware is not so expensive as to attempt to encroach on the iPhone market, which is an actual thing. But nobody's aiming for the Android market, because there isn't one.

  13. Vic

    > there is no Android market either. Nobody wants Android. Nobody buys Android.

    I can introduce you to quite a few people who do (including myself).

    Vic.

  14. Vic

    £13 for a phone with a monthly charge?

    I'm getting one. I spent almost as much on a single bottle of beer a few months back.

    Dosen't really matter what it's like - as long as it makes moderately acceptable calls.

    It'll live in the glove box and get charged every few weeks as necessary...

    Vic.

    1. dogged

      I doubt if you can introduce me to a statistically significant sample, given the alleged number of activations per day.

      People who buy (non-iOS) smartphones based on OS are definitely an edge case.

      1. Vic

        > I doubt if you can introduce me to a statistically significant sample,

        Of course I can.

        I cannot introduce you to anything like a majority of users, but it's not too hard to provide a satistically significant refutation to the statement that "Nobody wants Android. Nobody buys Android."

        Vic.

      2. Spoddyhalfwit

        I think you are wrong... I know many people who have specifically purchased an android or win phone. Personally Ive always resisted having a smart phone, making do with an old Motorola flip... And an iPad I won at a business function. But WP8 has inspired me to take the plunge for a smart phone. I think the OS does matter even to average users... People are much more tech savvy and choosy than we might imagine.

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