It’s a cruel cruel world to live in if you happen to be Garmin and TomTom, first their stock plummets when Google Maps announces free turn-by-turn voice guided directions and now Nokia has announced that their pay to play map service is being offered for free.
Unlike Google, the Nokia Ovi Map service is a global offering (74 countries and 46 languages), a move sure to add to the woes of Garmin, TomTom and other GPS manufacturers who have largely looked to the worldwide market after Google’s North American mapping was released towards the end of 2009.
Putting that offering into perspective, Nokia map capable phones cover more than 20 million smartphones with Ovi Maps featured worldwide.
The service includes both driving and walking navigation and comes with turn-by-turn voice guidance, lane assistance, traffic information, safety camera locations (when available), and other major GPS features found on high end GPS devices.
Unlike Google’s service, Nokia Ovi Maps are also capable of working offline, a fact that’s sure to give major GPS companies a run for their stock valued money, which I’m guessing won’t be much over the next few years with better mobile GPS technologies surfacing.
Here’s a look at Ovi Maps:
[Engadget via Nokia]