Maps, navigation, smartphone © Oleksiy Mark Shutterstock 2012

Oracle To Use Nokia Maps, As Apple Maps Backlash Spreads

Oracle like Nokia Maps, and so do quite a few TechWeekEurope readers

On by Max Smolaks 0

Oracle will use Nokia‘s mapping and location services in its business applications. The high profile win for Nokia comes as the recently-launched Apple Maps software is less popular than paper maps in a TechWeekEurope poll.

The announcement comes as Oracle OpenWorld kicks off in San Francisco, and was reported by the Wall Street Journal and Reuters – although it is not yet clear which applications will be using the data.

Nokia is currently bidding to exploit its strength in mapping, and capitalise on uncertainty following Apple’s disastrous attempt to turn its back on Google Maps in its new operating system iOS6. After Apple’s failure, Nokia is hoping that attention will shift to its Navteq software  - which won a clear second place in TechWeekEurope’s poll.

Apple versus paper

Last week, Apple CEO Tim Cook publicly apologised for inconvenience and frustration caused by the company’s navigation app, and went as far as to suggest iOS users couild download rival solutions, while Apple improves its service.

The anti-Apple sentiment was echoed in our popularity poll.  Google has an apparently unassailable lead as the favourite map app for 70 percent of readers , but Nokia’s Navteq was a strong second at 12 percent,beating catnave specific solutions such as TomTom (seven percent).

Suffering a strong backlash, Apple came bottom of the pile on one percent of the 450 votes cast so far. This puts it below traditional paper maps.

Nokia bought Navteq - the world’s largest digital mapping firm – in 2008, and has been steadily expanding its navigation business. In August, Amazon announced it would useNokia’s mapping service on its Android-running Kindle Fire 2, instead of the choice of Google Maps – which was perhaps natural given the Kindle Fire runs Google’s Android OS. The deal-of-the-day website Groupon has also recently signed up to use the Nokia service.

Maps, navigation © Daniel Wiedemann Shutterstock 2012“Nokia has been on a mission for the last 18 months to sign mapping and location deals with large internet players. The deal with Oracle extends this and broadens the large enterprise market for Nokia’s location services,” analyst Martin Garner from CCS Insight told Reuters.

“At Apple, we strive to make world-class products that deliver the best experience possible to our customers,” said Tim Cook last week. “With the launch of our new Maps last week, we fell short on this commitment. We are extremely sorry for the frustration this has caused our customers and we are doing everything we can to make Maps better.”Navigation software has been in the spotlight ever since Apple announced it will drop native support for Google Maps from its iOS. Apple Maps application, which was bundled with iOS6, failed to impress the users, due to inaccuracies and missing information.

Analysts have suggested that Apple’s shortcomings might benefit rival mapping software developers, including Nokia and Google.

“Our superior apps are built on the most accurate, automotive-grade Navteq maps, meticulously developed by over 20 years of know-how,” wrote Nokia spokesman Adam Fraser, referring to Apple’s rushed release. “We believe that the best user experience comes indeed from precise data, robust processing of core platform functionalities like routing, geocoding and traffic, and by user-friendly apps. All this cannot be built overnight.”

Meanwhile, Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt said that his company does not currently plan to provide a Google Maps iPhone application.

How much do you know about the iPhone’s rivals? Take our quiz!

Max Smolaks

Author: Max Smolaks

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