The rise and fall of the Nokia HERE Maps app on the iOS App Store was a strange, unfortunate story for the Finnish company. Nokia came out swinging with a well-received app, managed to beat Google to the iPhone, but then struggled to hold onto any momentum the app had after it launched as it immediately faded into obscurity. Nokia was certainly down, but it wasn’t out — new mapping apps from Nokia are coming to mobile devices soon.
The Wall Street Journal reports that Nokia’s comeback will begin before the end of the year as the company finalizes its plans to release free map apps on iOS and Android. The main draw of the apps for many users will be their ability to function without an Internet connection, something that Apple Maps and Google Maps can’t do.
Other than the HERE Maps from 2012, Nokia mapping business has primarily focused on corporate customers that pay to use its platform. This will be the next step to bringing consumers into the equation as well. Nokia is convinced that mobile users deserve more options for their mapping needs.
“I’m convinced people are looking for alternatives,” said Mr. Fernbackan, an executive at Nokia’s Here mapping unit. “Google Maps is a good solution for many—their maps work very well—but it has looked the same and done the same for a long time.”
The exec also admitted that Nokia’s first crack at making a mapping app, the ill-fated HERE Maps, left a lot to be desired.
“It was a rushed product that was never thoroughly proven,” Fernback told the Journal. “Honestly, it went horribly wrong. But we’ve regrouped now.”