Free Navigation

The past months were exciting times for the LBS and map industry. The announcements of free navigation by Google and Nokia sparked many discussions.
I work for NAVTEQ and certainly have my own, positively excited view on this.
If you struggle with the concept of “free”, I strongly recommend to read Chris Anderson’s book “Free: The Future of a Radical Price” or at least read these two articles in Wired about the topic.

But the main reason for this blog post is that I want to share another interesting article I came across.
Kevin Dennehy of GPS World interviewed Mike Dobson who hit some very interesting things that help get a better understanding of the powers at play.

For those of you who don’t have the time to read the full article, here are what I think are the three most interesting sections:

[…] the week following the announcement, there were more than 1 million downloads of the app and data. […]
[…] the top five countries downloading the new, free version of OVI maps were China, Italy (with the highest number of smart phone users in Europe), UK, Germany and Spain. The number of users of Google’s navigation applications in these same five countries is zero, […].

Gartner’s recent analysis of the phone market says that Nokia leads the pack with 36.4 percent of the [global phone] market, based on selling nearly 441 million phones in 2009. This is followed by Samsung, LG, Motorola and Sony Ericsson (whose percentage was 4.5). Google’s Android, Apple, and Rim were included in the “others” category, whose members must have had percentages lower than Sony Ericsson, […].
170 million smart phones were sold in 2009. Categorized by operating system, [Nokia’s] Symbian was the leader (46.9 percent market share [81 million units]) followed by Research in Motion [34 million units], iPhone OS (14.4 percent [25 million units]) and Windows Mobile [15 million units] (which led Android Phone sales by almost 9 million units).

Google’s primary interest is not in selling Smartphones, or […] Android […]. Google has developed both initiatives as methods of forward integrating into a “distribution channel” that will help them sell geospatially-targeted advertising[…].

I hope you find the article and above quotes as interesting as I did.

In case you wonder what Nokia and NAVTEQ have to offer in terms of geospatially-targeted advertising, please visit NAVTEQ Media Solutions to find out more.