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September 2, 2014

Samsung puts Nokia Here on the map – rejects Google Maps

Nokia’s Here maps will distinguish Samsung smartphones from Google Android.

By Ben Sullivan

Samsung has struck a deal with Nokia to integrate Microsoft owned firms ‘Here’ maps platform into its smartphones.

The deal will introduce a beta version of an Android app for Here maps shipping for free with Samsung smartphones and the Gear S smartwatch. The deal will help Samsung differentiate itself from Google.

Samsung is also pushing its Tizen OS, a platform which is developed by Samsung engineers. The Android-a-like OS already runs some of Samsung’s new smartwatches and is planned for Russian release with the Samsung Z phone.

By using Tizen and Nokia maps, Samsung would break away from Google and get free reign within the Samsung ecosystem. Currently every mobile that Samsung sells generates revenue for Google revenue which is further enhanced each time a user spends money on Google Play.

Further out the development of an OS originating in the Asian market could lay the foundations for Samsung to compete with Google in the Asian market itself, by offering an Android alternative on a majority of phones shipping in Asia.

Nokia Here is also used by Amazon, Microsoft Bing and Yahoo, and the service covers 190 countries.

A smartwatch version of Here maps is reportedly being developed for Samsung’s Gear S watch called Here for Gear.

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Sean Fernback, Senior Vice President Everyday Mobility, HERE, said: "We believe that maps and location-related functionality are essential for any operating system. HERE aims to deliver fresh maps, platform services and location cloud experiences to as many people and businesses as possible, independent of the device and operating system they are using. Partnering with Samsung for the Tizen OS, and providing maps and location services for the first time with the new Samsung Gear is another huge step for us in that direction."

"Samsung is committed to providing consumers with the best possible mobile experience and we always look for partners to help expand the capabilities of our smart wearable devices," said Chan Woo Park, Vice President of Product Strategy Team in Mobile Division at Samsung Electronics. "We are thrilled to partner with HERE and bring innovative, personalized mapping pedestrian navigation services to our Tizen-powered smart wearable devices starting with the Samsung Gear S."

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