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Posted by Katyayan Gupta on November 27, 2013
At the recently concluded Tizen developer conference in South Korea, Nokia announced that it has licensed its maps and related functionality to the Tizen ecosystem. While no phone or tablet running the Tizen OS has yet launched, device manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei, and Fujitsu are backing it.
Mobile handset manufacturer Jolla, whose first phone ships on November 27, also announced that it has licensed HERE’s positioning services and map technology for its Sailfish OS. We expect more handset manufacturers to build devices for Tizen and Sailfish over the next 12 to 18 months, as both are open source and can run Android apps.
In my opinion, two key factors make Nokia HERE maps a tough competitor for Google and Apple:
Samsung, which is trying to reduce its overreliance on Android, is looking to migrate (albeit partially) to Tizen. As the biggest manufacturer of Android handsets, Samsung’s move will definitely dent the growth of Google Maps and play in favor of HERE. And because both Tizen and Sailfish can run Android apps, we expect significant uptake of these OSes, especially in Android-dominated markets like China and India — helping HERE expand its mobile mapping subscriber base.
But it’s still early days for both OSes — so Nokia must continue to work hand in glove with Microsoft to further the adoption of HERE on the Windows Phone platform. Nokia should also develop value-added apps similar to StoryTeller that leverage its mapping capabilities and connect with users on an emotional level. It’s crucial for Nokia to make these apps available to all of its partner manufacturers — unlike StoryTeller, which is tied to the Windows Phone platform.