Nokia Strikes While Apple’s Map Iron is Hot

| News

With Apple getting some criticism for its new Apple Maps product, Nokia took the opportunity to tout its own Navteq-based mapping service at the expense of both Apple and Google Maps. The company said in a blog post that its proprietary system is superior to the competition's, and that the Nokia Lumia 920 Windows Phone 8 device offers the best mapping experience.Infographic

"Unlike our competitors, which are financing their location assets with advertising or licensing mapping content from third parties, we completely own, build and distribute mapping content, platform and apps, Pino Bonetti, Senior Marketing Communications Manager for Nokia's mapping services, said in the blog post.

Nokia bought mapping services Navteq in 2008 and used that technology to build the mapping service used on its smartphones. The company noted that its service works offline, has turn-by-turn navigation services in more countries, and features augmented reality in the form of Nokia City Lens.

Google Maps has been the benchmark mapping service for mobile devices in the U.S. and is popular in other parts of the world, too, but Nokia still does well in Asia and parts of Europe. Apple replaced Google Maps with its own mapping service on Wednesday with the release of iOS 6, evicting Google from the iPhone.

That change has been met with resistance and no small amount of criticism, as users have complained about mistakes in some maps, the lack of public transportation, the lack of a street-level view, and other aspects of the service. BusinessInsider went so far as to say that it seemed Microsoft-like.

The infographic does, of course, focus on the features where its mapping service excels, but the reality is that Nokia has gotten high marks for its mapping service after acquiring Navteq.

The Numia 920 is Nokia's upcoming flagship Windows Phone 8 device, and both Nokia and Microsoft are hoping it will be the foot back into the door of the smartphone market Nokia once dominated.

Nokia Infographic in Full

Nokia Infographic



Nokia Lumia 920: ??? - no sooner than Oct. 21
Apple iPhone 5: Tomorrow - Sept. 21
Samsung Galaxy S III with Google Maps: Now

John Dingler, artist

I am mostly interested in Apple’s response: What will it say? Who might get fired, if any? Will it offer some compensation or what? Have not read anything yet.

I wonder if Apple can afford to fire the top vice president responsible for this bad execution? But it could be that Cook knew about the manager’s week execution and Cook OKeyed the map’s release anyway. We have seen this form played out in the Apple store fiasco where people were fired or whose hours were reduced for no apparent reason. If so, this would indicate that Apple is run by mere managers who think they should not be blamed for not having the keys, instead of visionaries who combine the liberal arts with technology and who pay attention to details which is, or perhaps was, Apple’s forte.


Give iOS6 map a chance. Its version 1.0. Dont judge the iphone by its map.

Bryan Chaffin

I personally think Apple Maps is way cool. It has some shortcomings, but it also has a great look and feel. The Flyover mode is very cool, too. All this noise about how bad Apple Maps is seems way overblown to me—though I want to be clear that I acknowledge it’s not perfect.


Agreed, I think the criticism will end up being mostly the critics less the customers. I have used the maps now and find the turn-by-turn to be excellent implementation in Montreal. One of the nicest turn by implementations I have used. I actually like the Maps so far. The flyover is way-cool and does serve somewhat the same purpose as street view.

No public transit is a minus. Not a big one for me, but a very nice, nice-to-have.

Is it as good or as mature as Google Maps? No, but its early days.



Agreed. Turn-by-turn implementation in Montreal is excellent and one of the nicest interfaces I have used. Flyover does allow me to orient myself on the street and pick out landmarks around me and it is a lot more fluid than street view.

Is Apple Maps as good as Google’s? No, but its early days. Public Transit can be added later. Its not a must-have for me.


It took Google seven years to be able to map my home address correctly. SEVEN. I think I can suffer through a few years of Apple playing catch-up in maps.

And…it’s not like Apple really had the alternative of staying with Google maps. I suspect that the lack of turn-by-turn directions prior to iOS 6 is because they couldn’t license the data to implement it from Google in order to retain that as an Android-only feature.

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