Nokia (NOK) managed to get its HERE Maps app to Apple’s App Store about 3-4 weeks faster than had been expected. This means it beats Google (GOOG) in offering a much-needed mapping solution for the iPhone 5. And iOS device users are enthusiastic: the HERE Maps app moved to No.101 on the App Store’s iPhone free download chart by 8:35 a.m. on Tuesday, the day it launched. By 8:50 a.m., the app had moved to No.32, vaulting over Spotify.
It will be very interesting to see how high HERE Maps soars — and how well it handles the Google Maps competition once it materializes. By Easter, we should also have some sense on how enthusiastic Android developers are in using the HERE Maps platform to create new apps.
Nokia is proving to be surprisingly fleet-footed in its mapping initiative, which is just as well. The Lumia 920 models just dropped out of Amazon top-10 list of handsets as the early inventory ran out and the delivery time stretched to 1-2 weeks.