Nokia, once the dominant force in the mobile industry, has sold off its prized HERE maps division to a German carmaker consortium comprised of Audi, BMW and Daimler, technology blog Re/code reported this morning.
The $3.07 billion transaction (2.8 billion euros) is pending regulatory approval and should be completed in the first quarter of 2016. The deal is meant to “secure the long-term availability” of HERE maps as an open platform, as per a media release.
News of the deal arrives following months of speculation that a bunch of Silicon Valley technology giants were interested in a takeover bid, including ride sharing service Uber, as well as Apple, Microsoft, Facebook, Baidu and others.
While Nokia would prefer to sell out its mapping division to Apple, no offer has arrived yet from the iPhone maker for the competitive service, called Nokia Here.
Be that as it may, a window of opportunity has now opened for Uber, a privately-held transportation service, which has reportedly submitted a $3 billion offer for Nokia Here, The New York Times said Friday citing three people with knowledge of the offer.
But Nokia has other big name suitors lined up as well, including one from a powerful consortium made up of Chinese web services company Baidu and automakers BMW, Audi and Mercedes-Benz. It’s unclear whether Apple, whose own mapping service relies heavily on third-party data, is still in the running.
Do you remember playing the old-school Snake from Nokia phones? First released in the late 1990s on the Nokia 6110, this innovative, all-consuming game with monochrome graphics and stupendously simple concept of not crashing the snake while trying to eat fruit is a testament of timeless design. Now Snake’s original creator Taneli Armanto has teamed up with Rumilus Design to bring back the joy of the classic game in a modern take on Snake.
Titled Snake Rewind, the game is scheduled to hit iOS, Android and Windows Phone platforms globally on next Thursday, May 14, 2015.
Bloomberg reports that Apple is among the list of companies Nokia is hoping will purchase its struggling HERE Maps, as it seeks to cut divisions that are losing money.
According to the publication’s anonymous source, Nokia is seeking more than 3 billion euros ($3.2 billion) from a sale of the unit. It’s selling HERE Maps for the “ubiquity and utility” of its location-based services.
HERE Maps had been available in the App Store briefly before it got pulled in December 2013 because “iOS 7 ruined the experience”. Nokia later admitted the app was “a rushed product” that “went horribly wrong” because it was “never thoroughly proven.”
The Finnish firm has now officially confirmed that HERE Maps will return to the iPhone in early 2015 following today’s release of HERE for Android and a relaunch of a new web-based experience over at here.com.
“Our iOS app development team is working hard on this and we plan to officially launch HERE for iOS in early 2015,” said the team. The revamped iOS navigation app will be joining several big-name mapping products in the App Store from the likes of Google, Garmin, TomTom and many more.
Friday, Windows giant Microsoft published a new Apple-bashing ad on its YouTube channel.
The 30-second television commercial shows off the latest version of Cortana, Microsoft’s Siri-like personal assistant, running on the Lumia 830 and interacting with a bunch of built-in applications.
Cortana amusingly brags to Siri about being able to perform functions Apple’s personal assistant can’t, like alert users to leave early for an appointment using traffic alerts, remind them of things based on who calls or texts and more.
Nokia rejoined the world of consumer electronics on Monday, after selling its devices unit to Microsoft last year. The Finnish-based company announced the Nokia N1, an iPad mini-clone featuring a strikingly familiar 7.9-inch screen, 2048×1536 resolution, and aluminum design. The N1 will be released in China early next year for $250, undercutting the iPad mini prices heftily.
Nokia executive Sean Fernback told the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday that the Finnish telecommunications company will be releasing a brand new cross-platform mobile navigation app for the iOS and Android platforms later this year.
Nokia, which sold off its handset division to Microsoft, kept its Here mapping service. The forthcoming GPS navigation app would be unique in that both the maps themselves and searches would work without an Internet connection.
Samsung’s marketing department has cleverly piggy-backed on the popularity of Ice Bucket Challenge, a phenomenon which has taken the world by storm.
For those who’ve been sleeping under the rock lately, the initiative saw such celebrities and Silicon Valley execs as Mark Zuckerberg, Apple CEO Tim Cook and marketing honcho Phil Schiller, along with former Microsoft CEO Bill Gates and many others, getting ice baths in the name of helping fund ALS research and benefitting the Motor Disease Association.
The official YouTube channel for Samsung Mobile UK this morning posted a video depicting its Galaxy S5 flagship smartphone taking the challenge.
Needless to say, the waterproof handset (IP67-certified) passes the test.
The best part is when Samsung nominates three handsets from its rivals: Apple’s iPhone 5s, HTC’s One M8 and Nokia’s Lumia 930.
Microsoft-owned Nokia earlier this week announced its first Windows Phone 8.1 handset, the Lumia 630, with sales starting in Asia this week, followed by Europe and the United States.
In promoting the low-to-mid-range smartphone, Microsoft and Nokia put together a commercial sporting Finnish goalkeeper and Trick Shot master Lassi Hurskainen who shows how to do a smartphone switch with a football.
And some of the handsets flying out of people’s hands seemingly resemble a certain iconic smartphone from a certain California company. Have a look at the video included after the break and meet us in comments…
Ari Partinen, Nokia’s expert who worked on the Lumia PureView imaging technology has joined Apple, presumably to work on the iPhone’s camera. According to a pair of tweets issued by Partinen himself, today marks his last day on the job.
A graduate of Helsinki University of Technology, Partinen was Lumia Photography Lead at the Finnish company and was instrumental in the development of the Nokia 808 PureView 41-megapixel sensor with unmatched low-light sensitivity…
Following Microsoft’s finalized acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services unit last week, 25,000 Nokia employees get to join the Windows giant today. To celebrate the merger, the Windows giant has just published its very first Nokia television commercial with Microsoft branding.
Windows Phone often gets relegated to the Others category in global smartphone surveys: currently, it’s a distant third, after Android and iOS. The new ad, entitled ‘Not Like Everybody Else,’ plays on Microsoft’s underdog status by promising a bunch of colorful smartphones and tablets that should draw attention and make heads turn…