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10/1/2007
10:45 AM
Eric Ogren
Eric Ogren
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Nokia Buys Mapping Company, Pokes Fun At Apple

Nokia made its biggest acquisition ever today by picking up Navteq for a cool $8.1 billion. It also unleashed a new ad campaign in NYC touting the benefits of unlocked operating systems. The iPhone 1.1.1 update backlash continues...

Nokia made its biggest acquisition ever today by picking up Navteq for a cool $8.1 billion. It also unleashed a new ad campaign in NYC touting the benefits of unlocked operating systems. The iPhone 1.1.1 update backlash continues...Nokia is taking mobile navigation applications and services seriously. It released a mapping application earlier this year, and recently upgraded it. Rather than continue to license the map data, it decided to go out and buy a mapping company instead. It sure picked a big one. Navteq is one of the world's larger suppliers of Internet-based mapping applications. It has more than 3,000 employees sprinkled throughout the world. The acquisition, which already has been approved by both companies' boards, will add to Nokia's Internet Services division. It will help the Finnish cell phone maker better incorporate LBS apps into its mobile portfolio.

But that's not all Nokia has been up to.

Nokia has been pushing its N95 multimedia computer hard in the Big Apple. One of the many features the N95 offers is the Symbian S60 operating system. Not only does Nokia encourage people to develop for S60, it has an entire organization (Forum Nokia) designed to support developers. There are countless third-party applications for the S60 platform.

The 1.1.1 iPhone update pushed out by Apple last week essentially killed all third-party apps that had been installed on the iPhone and locked it down so tight that reinstalling those apps isn't going to be so easy.

In a new rash of ads seen across NYC, Nokia is brazenly scolding Apple with posters that read "Phones should be open to anything" written below a picture of an open lock. Funny stuff. Nokia is banking on peoples' anger and hoping that the appeal of openness might convince them to drop their iPhones in favor of a Nokia device.

As blogger Alex Wolfe points out, many users who hacked their iPhones only to see the installed third-party apps wiped out with the 1.1.1 update last week are mad. Mad enough to perhaps launch a class-action lawsuit.

Whether or not Nokia's ad campaign will actually produce its desired outcome is anyone's guess, but you can't blame them for taking a pot shot.

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