Nokia buys Navteq

Wow… this is big. Nokia, a cell phone manufacturer buys Navteq, a map data provider for more than $8 billion in cash. Nokia has just made a huge leap off a cliff hoping that halfway down their homemade paraglider that they are going to pull out of their backpocket lifts them up to new heights.

I guess they think that this will allow them to take over the budding location based services market. Buying Navteq may allow them to take competitors out of the market by simply not providing data to them, or charging them a heafty sum of money for it.

I expected this kind of thing from Google, but not a cell phone company. I guess even Google doesn’t have $8 billion just lying around. Then again, I don’t think Google really wants to be a data company. They want to be a technology company that builds software around the data that other companies and individuals provide.

So, what happens when some other big phone manufacturer decides to buy the other major map data provider Teleatlas and both decide to no longer license data to Google? Oh… I guess no more Google Maps… even on the Apple’s iPhone…

[via All Things Digital]

2 Responses to “Nokia buys Navteq”

  1. Adam Herscher Says:

    Tomtom actually bought Tele Atlas for €2 billion in July of this year!

    I imagine Google/Yahoo/Microsoft are already increasing the extent to which they gather/compile/maintain their own map data, especially the differentiating stuff (3D, flyover data, etc).

    If companies like Nokia and Tomtom move into direct competition with their licensing customers, not only can they turn off the faucet as you mention, but their customers are unlikely to want to continue funding the competition. This kinda happened with search back when Yahoo was a portal/directory and licensed others’ search technology, then had to undertake a huge effort to start developing its own in-house as the market shifted (namely when Google arrived).

  2. Kyle Mulka Says:

    Hmm… I guess I missed that news. But, then again, it was only a bid, and the price wasn’t final.

    Just after the Nokia thing was announced, TomTom made a formal offer for TeleAtlas.

    Maybe Google will just decide to buy the combined TomTom/TeleAtlas instead…

    By the way, any idea what data provider the iPhone uses? I know its Google, but is it Navteq, TeleAtlas or both?

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