Nokia buys Earthmine for 3-D capabilities in map war with Apple

“Nokia Oyj, the struggling Finnish smartphone maker, is acquiring 3-D map-technology maker Earthmine Inc. and revamping its mapping tools under a new brand name to win back customers from rivals such as Apple Inc.,” Adam Ewing and Peter Burrows report for Bloomberg.

“The Earthmine purchase will help Nokia expand in mapping, a growing business it considers key to driving smartphone sales and becoming profitable again,” Ewing and Burrows report. “The company unveiled Here, the brand for its location services and website, at an event in San Francisco yesterday, and said it has created a mapping app for Apple’s mobile devices. It will also make its map technology open to developers using Google Inc.’s Android operating system.”

MacDailyNews Take: Google Inc.’s Android operating system – from which Apple and Microsoft make multiple times more profit than Google.

Ewing and Burrows report, “The purchase of Berkeley, California-based Earthmine will give Nokia a new way to collect three-dimensional data to improve its location offering. The deal is expected to close by the end of this year. Financial details of the acquisition weren’t disclosed… Apple’s own mapping app, which replaced Google’s maps in the latest iteration of Apple’s iOS mobile software, has been criticized as being unreliable and lacking features.”

MacDailyNews Take: No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population… The fool(s) responsible for preparing Maps for release and then releasing it with obvious issues (overblown as they are) and therefore tainting Maps forever should face severe consequences. As in: Pink slip(s).MacDailyNews, September 28, 2012, one month and a day before the pinks slips were issued.

Ewing and Burrows report, “‘A lot of people don’t trust Apple’s maps right now,’ said Van Baker, an analyst at Gartner Inc. He said Nokia has six to 12 months to attract Apple customers to Here before Apple improves its own mapping service.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has already dramatically improved it’s mapping service. Like we said so presciently above, they’ll never get any credit. Heckuva job, Scottie.

Ewing and Burrows report, “Michael Halbherr, head of Nokia’s location and commerce unit, said last month the market is focusing more on precision in maps after Apple was criticized over initial errors in its iPhone navigation software.”

Read more in the full article here.

Related articles:
Tim Cook takes full control of Apple: John Browett and Scott Forstall out; Jony Ive, Bob Mansfield, Eddy Cue and Craig Federighi get expanded responsibilities – October 29, 2012
Nokia announces ‘HERE’ maps application for Apple’s iOS devices – November 13, 2012

20 Comments

  1. MacDailyNews: ‘Apple has already dramatically improved it’s mapping service.’

    Not in the UK they haven’t. I’ve given them fixes for weeks/months now and still no change. The number of inaccuracies here are just embarrassing.

    1. Nothing I submitted at LAX has changed or added. The Theme Building is still showing in the street and that Flying Saucer must be causing a lot of problems in that traffic loop! LOL. I tried from day one and gave up over a month later. So be it.

    2. Depends, the satellite mapping in parts of Wiltshire was dreadful, just low-res blurs, but that has now been corrected, to the extent that I can see things that prove the mapping is as recent as this June in some places, and within the last ten months in others. However, Marlborough is incorrectly named, and I have sent in two notifications so far.

  2. I have 0 problems so far with apple maps. Have had it since first dev beta. I use it at least every other day to take me places by car and bike that I have never been to before. Spot on.

  3. I’d like to find the time to go over ALL the things that Apple has made mainstream just to get a picture of what the world would be like without them.

    We’d still be paying per file to transfer data to phones via email.

    Developers will still be paying over 50 cents per dollar in profit when they created a mobile game.

    We’d still be forced to pay $1.99 or MORE for a ringtone (which we’d then have to email to ourselves $$)

    We’d still have physical keypads on most phones (now, keypad, keyboard phones are the exception)

    We wouldn’t have everyone focusing on 3d MAPS (basically a whiz bang feature, but both Google and Nokia are moving quickly in that direction where it was more of a “when we get around to it” thing before

    and so on…

    Even if you’re not a fan of Apple, you have to admit they have and they continue to move other companies to the NEXT way to do things.

  4. “Nokia Oyj, the struggling Finnish smartphone maker, is acquiring 3-D map-technology maker Earthmine Inc. and revamping its mapping tools under a new brand name to win back customers from rivals such as Apple Inc.,” Adam Ewing and Peter Burrows report for Bloomberg.

    SHOULD READ

    “Nokia Oyj, the Microsoft quasi-subsidiary doing business as the former Finnish smartphone maker, is acquiring 3-D map-technology maker Earthmine Inc. and revamping its mapping tools under a new brand name to win back customers from rivals such as Apple Inc., Adam Ewing and Peter Burrows report for Bloomberg.”

    The real Nokia was shut down by the imported Microsoft executive. Nokia discharged most of it’s employees and no longer exists except as a marketing ploy for Windows Phone.

  5. I want Apple’s Maps to succeed brilliantly. As a former map maker for AAA I have a particularly keen eye for map accuracy. The maps that Maps deliver have been extremely inaccurate in my usage. In my own neighborhood there are numerous mis-named roads, phantom streets and non-existing dead-ends, etc.

    No matter how pretty a map Apple’s app can deliver, or how sweet the voice is for navigation, accuracy trumps all when it comes to guiding someone from Point A to Point B.

    1. It’s funny you should mention phantom and non-existing streets in Apple Maps. Google Maps has been showing my driveway as a street for a few years and some other roads where there are none.

      And what’s with the whole 3D maps thing. I could see how they might be useful… to Superman or the Jetsons, but for some walking or driving at street level… really?

      I look at these things and they are a visual clusterfck to make out where anything is.

      And, no… my vision is just fine.

  6. “No matter what Apple does, no matter how much better they make Apple Maps, it will now always “suck” in the minds of a large segment of the population”

    Never mind that Google maps has sucked all along.

    Apple maps has my street displayed correctly while both Google and Mapquest don’t even have it shown, much less named.

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