People really like getting things free and the Ovi Maps just proves that. It's been only a week since the launch of the latest version of Ovi Maps bundled with free walk and drive navigation and over 1.4 million people have downloaded it already.
Even Nokia themselves didn't expect their mobile navigation to generate so much interest. The free lifetime licenses are now possible thanks to Nokia's acquisition of NAVTEQ, the company which standing behind the Ovi Maps map data.
Starting next month, Nokia will ship all of its GPS-enabled smartphones with the new Ovi Maps preinstalled. It will come with pre-loaded local country maps, walk and drive navigation and access to Michelin travel guide and Lonely Planet.
Meanwhile Nokia released Ovi Maps Racing - a free location-based game. It uses actual data from the NAVTEQ maps, where you create your racing track and then choose your car and start playing. The game itself is developed by RedLynx, requires Symbian^1 (S60 5th edition) and is already available for download in Ovi Store (free for limited time).
We suspect that after Nokia increased their smartphone market share from 35% to 40% last quarter, the free voice-guided navigation on their smartphones will help push this number even further up.
I urge all of you without a free navigation licence to use Waze GPS navigation which provides free navigation licence to all its users forever.
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