UPDATE: Consider our hopes dashed. Nokia has been in touch to say the statement below from Greig Williams was a mis-quote. Nokia’s full explanation is: “Earlier this week, an Austrian journalist asked Greig Williams, GM of Nokia’s operations in the Alp regions, if Ovi Maps would be available on Android in the future. Greig’s response (in English) ‘We don’t comment on future plans’ was inexplicably translated into German as: ‘That will be the next step’. Of course, once we pointed out the error, the journalist corrected their article.”
Ovi Maps on Android? It seems Nokia is working on just that. The Finnish phone giant has already confirmed it’ll be pushing Ovi Maps onto more than just Symbian, stating that a Maemo 5 port for its free turn by turn satnav will be coming for the Nokia N900, but now one Nokia exec has hinted that it could be headed to Android and Windows Mobile too. Say what?
In an interview with Austrian national newspaper Die Presse, Nokia’s general manager for the Alps and South East Europe, Greig Williams, dropped a bombshell this week, which if true hints at some major changes ahead for Nokia. When asked if Ovi Maps could come to Android or Windows Mobile, he simply replied “That will be the next step.”
Read our Nokia Ovi Maps 3.03 review now
Wow. No denial, no sleight of hand and mouth, just an official comment that Nokia is at least considering Ovi Maps on other platforms. And it has even wider implications too. Since Nokia is still primarily a handset manufacturer, it seems logical to assume an Android or Windows Mobile phone is under wraps in its own labs, unless the company’s keen to feather the nests of rival manufacturers by letting them run Ovi Maps?
As much as we’d love to see Ovi Maps on Android (especially while Google Maps Navigation remains US only), it seems like a strange move. Nokia made Ovi Maps turn by turn navigation available for free last month as a compelling reason to buy its handsets, so unless it’s really hoping to cash in more on advertising than phone sales in the future, we’re puzzled.
Could Ovi Maps for Android herald a Nokia Android phone? Or a Nokia Windows Mobile Phone 7 Series handset? Until Greig Williams or one of his Finnish friends says different, we can only hope.