The company announced that they will be ‘winding down’ development of their HERE Maps on Windows Phone, in favor of spending more development time on iOS and Android.
Nokia’s HERE maps is widely regarded as one of the top players in the global mapping world, with Google, TomTom, and OpenStreetMap, being the other three major players.
Now though, Nokia is shifting their focus away from Windows Phones, in an effort to focus their development resources on iOS and Android devices. This could be the first big sign that Microsoft is seeing a game plan beyond simply the mobile space, when it came to their acquisition of Nokia in the spring.
It’s becoming clear that this is a pivotal moment for the company who is now turning their focus to winning the mapping world, and taking a more direct approach at competing with Google – who has the most dominant market share on Android devices.
The same can be said for attempting to compete with iOS products, like Apple Maps, which historically haven’t done that well.
In August, after Nokia was fully-adjusted to no longer being tied down to their mobile phones, the company announced that they would be joining forces with Samsung in a bundled services package, that would allow HERE maps to be present on Samsung’s Gear S Tizen smartwatch.
The next day it was announced that HERE would officially launch in its original form on Android phones. Though originally they were only available on Samsung Galaxy devices, it was an early sign of the tidal change.
It’s been rumored that HERE would be available on all Android and iOS devices by the end of the year though – so HERE fans may not have to wait that much longer to have Nokia’s flagship map service, available to them.
However, a lot is still unclear. Sean Fernback, who is the Senior Vice President of the HERE division, reiterated in an interview that there is still a very good chance that Nokia and Microsoft could reach an agreement that would allow them to continue normal development levels for their Windows Phone app.
While a lot may be unclear, it would seem Nokia is going through a shakeup in terms of what their focus is now, or what it will be in the future.