Nokia Announces Free Voice Navigation For Select Handsets
With the announcement, Nokia increases pressure on PND manufacturers such as Garmin and TomTom, who are likely to suffer as smartphone sales with built-in navigation capabilities continue to increase. In September, consultancy firm iSupply said it expected the GPS market to decrease for the first time in 2009 after enjoying years of booming growth. iSupply further predicted that GPS sales will continue to fall in the long term after a short rebound. By 2014, it is expected that the number of smartphones with navigational programs will exceed the number of GPS devices. Today, there are twice as many GPS devices compared to smartphones.
Nokia's PND features will become globally available in March on 10 phones, four of which are currently available as unlocked models in the U.S. These include the 5800 Navigation Edition, N97 Mini, 5800 Xpress Music, and E72. Additional models are set to follow. For customers who currently own one of the compatible phones, you can download the application from www.nokia.com/maps. The PND phones aren't available through AT&T, and the downloads will not be available to phones that are locked to AT&T.