Maemo and free Ovi Maps Navigation

Published by Rafe Blandford at 0:49 UTC, January 23rd 2010

Yesterday Nokia announced that Ovi Maps navigation was going free for all it smartphones. Initially this is available for Nokia's Symbian device models. However, Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President of Nokia, speaking at the London event said, "we will also be increasing support for this.. and certainly moving forward it will also support Maemo". However no commitment was made for specific Maemo models.

The Nokia spokespeople we spoke to were not willing to put a timescale on future Maemo Ovi Map releases. However the indication was that the priority would be on supporting the next release of Maemo [Harmattan, Maemo 6]. This suggests the N900 is unlikely to be supported in the immediate future, although this is open to change.

Service propositions are, from a business point of view, largely volume driven. Given the relatively small user base of Maemo 5 the lack of N900 support, however disappointing for owners of the device, is not surprising. By contrast the installed user base of GPS equipped Symbian devices is around 80 million and a similar number will be sold over the next 12 months. Moreover the move to a Qt based framework in Maemo 6 means an additional software investment would have to be made to support Maemo 5.

On the Symbian platform the new version of Ovi Maps provides global car and pedestrian navigation (70+ countries), traffic information (10 countries) and city guides (1000 cities; mix of Lonely Planet and Michelin), local event information (WCities), and local weather (5 day forecast). It is likely that, in due course, a similar mix of services will be provided on the Maemo platform. Regardless of support for Maemo 5 having free navigation included in future Maemo devices will only make them more attractive to the consumer.

More information about the news is available on our sister site All About Symbian.

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