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Nokia banks on location as core source of revenue

New Delhi, India: Finnish handset maker Nokia says its location services will become one of its core sources of revenue as it changed Nokia maps to become device and operating system agnostic and rebranded it to ”here” last week.

“We will continue to invest in location services that will be one of the five core business for Nokia. The service will not only be a source of revenue generation but also differentiation in the market,” said Vipul Mehrotra, director for smart devices at Nokia India.

Nokia will take ”here” mainstream over the next three-four quarters as it aims to take a fair share of the global location-based service market pegged at about USD 6 billion by market research firm Strategy Analytics.

The handset maker will therefore focus on pushing the service on Android and Apple phones, both competitors to its Windows and Symbian mobile phone platforms and its mapping solution.

Mehrotra said that Nokia has already created a mapping app for Apple for its AppStore, and is waiting for approval, while the API – base for developing applications – has been shared with Android device makers.

Nokia claims to be the largest mapping company and plans to leverage it for generating revenues. “We are focused on extending the platform. Revenues are coming from licensing agreements and we will also look at other ways like advertising,” Mehrotra added. Nokia acquired online map maker Navteq in 2007 and branded in Nokia maps after completing the merger last year.

The company is also looking to earn more from the auto mobile industry globally that extensively uses Nokia maps” content for creating in-car navigation tools. Besides global manufacturers like Volkswagen and Mercedes that sell cars in India, Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra also use Nokia”s mapping solutions here.

Apart from enterprise, Nokia will introduce maps that show details of indoor spaces like malls in India. The service allows users to navigate from one shop to another within a mall and has been made available in Delhi for the time being.

The handset maker will continue to promote its Lumia devices and will build apps that will be exclusive to the brand. It has already launched City Lens that enables users to point the camera at real-world objects like restaurants and see data on popularity, ratings and other specifics related to them, on the mobile phone screen.

Nokia”s mapping and location services cover 196 countries and offers navigation across 91 countries. In India, it covers over 4,000 cities and towns and over seven million points of interest.

The company”s net sales from location and commerce fell 6% year-on-year to 265 million euros in the third quarter this year from 282 million euros the same time last year, as per its interim report.

Source: ET