“Nokia Oyj, the Finnish company selling its money-losing maps business, is trying to drum up interest from some of the biggest names in technology including Apple Inc., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and Amazon.com Inc., people with knowledge of the matter said,” Alex Sherman, Aaron Kirchfeld, and Manuel Baigorri report for Bloomberg.
“Those companies as well as Facebook Inc., a group of German carmakers, and private-equity firms are among the companies looking at Nokia’s maps operations, known as HERE, highlighting the ubiquity and utility of location-based services,” Sherman, Kirchfeld, and Baigorri report. “Nokia is seeking more than 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) from a sale of the unit, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified discussing private information.”
“The mapping assets have lost value: Nokia bought them for $8.1 billion in 2008. They were worth about 2 billion euros last year, according to Nokia’s financial reports,” Sherman, Kirchfeld, and Baigorri report. “Some of the world’s largest technology companies may be interested in Nokia’s mapping technology to improve their navigational software, a standard feature of smartphones. Apple struggled in 2012 when it debuted mapping software for its operating system, which gave users poor directions and mislabeled landmarks. Apple eventually allowed Google Inc.’s mapping application on iPhones and iPads to assuage critics.”
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: See those last two sentences? As predicted before Apple’s high profile firings and subsequent upper management reorg:
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… Apple seems to have learned nothing from the Newton: First impressions mean everything. Apple’s Maps have been Newtonized. All that’s missing is the Doonesbury strip.
Here’s a little hint for the future: Everything that requires widespread customer use to develop a rich database before the product becomes fully usable should be clearly labelled “beta” upon release. Apple did it with Siri, but they forgot to do it with Maps. Had Apple been smart enough to simply place a “beta” tag on Maps, all of this rigamarole would never have occurred. — MacDailyNews Take, September 28, 2012
Apple’s Maps could direct people to El Dorado, Atlantis, and Amelia Earhart’s plane and people would still complain. Great job, Scott.
For reference, Nokia’s HERE is, uh, here.
Nokia announces ‘HERE’ maps application for Apple’s iOS devices – November 13, 2012
Tim Cook open letter: We fell short with new Maps app; we are extremely sorry – September 28, 2012