“In short order, the sale of Nokia’s mobile phone division to Microsoft will be official. What’s left of the Finnish company is basically two businesses: One that provides mobile network infrastructure and one that provides mapping services, called Here,” Mark Rogowsky writes for Forbes. “”

“Apple should pay Nokia whatever it takes to acquire the latter. If the Microsoft deal is a proxy, Here, which did about $900 million in revenue last year, could be had for half a billion or so,” Rogowsky writes. “If Nokia plays hardball, Apple should be prepared to pay several times that. The price is insignificant; the strategic value is fundamental. And so is the timing. With Apple’s announcement of CarPlay this week — it’s iPhone-automobile integration solution — having better maps has become more critical than ever. With the decks about to clear at Nokia, there’ll never be a better time to buy Here, probably the best mapping asset out there.”

“At the time Apple launched its [Maps] competitor, Google had more than 7,000 people working on its own maps, according to Business Insider,” Rogowsky writes. “Apple has acquired at least four firms in its efforts to beef up Apple maps, including HopStop and Embark to improve the transit part of maps, as well as Locationary and BroadMap. What it hasn’t done thus far is acquire its own version of a human army anywhere near the size of Google’s that can process reports that come in, correct errors, and generally make Apple’s maps the best in the world. That’s where Here comes in. The division had 5,741 employees at the end of Nokia’s fiscal year.”

Read more in the full article here.

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