Writing on the official Nokia Conversations blog last night, senior marketing communications manager Pino Bonetti announced that the company is “making Nokia Drive available to other Windows Phone 8 partners to offer a turn-by-turn navigation experience for people in over 110 countries.”
Windows Phone 8 launch partners announced so far include Nokia, Samsung, HTC, and growing Chinese vendor Huawei.
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Until now, Nokia Drive, which provides free turn by turn voice navigation, traffic and offline maps for any countries you need, has been an exclusive to Nokia’s Lumia Windows Phone devices, and a major selling point for the phones. So far, the only other Windows Phone manufacturer to provide anything close to this has been HTC with its Locations app, and even that had its
While every Windows Phone 8 device will be see its Maps app powered by Nokia at no expense to the consumer, the Nokia Drive announcement as it stands does not guarantee that all Samsung, HTC and Huawei phones will run the service out of the box.
It appears Nokia will either charger manufacturers for a licence, or leave it up to them whether it is included or not – we reached out to Nokia to clarify this point but a spokesperson for the company declined to comment.
Whether or not rival manufacturers want Nokia eating their lunch remains to be seen – but in wake of Apple blessing iOS 6 with turn by turn voice navigation, it’s a step in the right direction on the part of Nokia and Microsoft.