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Posted by Charles Golvin on January 21, 2010
I wrote last year that phone-based navigation would overtake both the in-built car systems and the devoted Portable Navigation Devices (PND) made by the likes of Garmin and TomTom, and that it would happen by 2013. Certainly Google's introduction of Google Maps Navigation on Motorola's Droid removed one of the primary barriers to realizing this shift: price. Unlike the turn-by-turn navigation services offered by US carriers (primarily powered by TeleNav) that cost $9.95 per month or are bundled with other services, Google's application is included with the Droid (and its Nexus One) and costs nothing to use.
Why did Nokia make this change, and why now? Google's influence is a big part of the story but not all of it.
It remains to be seen whether Nokia's services strategy will succeed, but this is a bold statement of affirmation of that strategy and, given where navigation revenue was headed, this bet looks like a smart one.
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