In the news, I reported on Nokia's unveiling of the new Ovi Maps, which is essentially free for consumers to use - so long as they have a Symbian-based Nokia phone, of course.
I speculated in the story that this might hit the makers of standalone navigation kit such as TomTom and Garmin, but further consideration has made me rethink this.
The fact is that standalone kit tends to ship with a larger, more readable screen than your average smartphone, and this is quite important when you are trying to use the device while driving. Phones also tend to go into power-saving mode if you haven't pressed a button for a few seconds, even when connected to an external power source. And what happens if you have an incoming call just as you reach a critical junction?
Interestingly, analyst firm Canalys thinks that Nokia's mobile operator partners stand to lose from the move, since they offer their own paid-for navigation tools to customers. These often download map data on-the-fly thereby driving up mobile data use as well, whereas Ovi Maps comes with the map data for all of Europe pre-installed on new Nokia phones.
Thinking about it, I can't see why you would want to use a mobile phone for in-car navigation rather than a device custom-made for the purpose, so perhaps TomTom and Garmin are safe.
Then again, I'm sure others will disagree. Is there something I'm missing?
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