Nokia comes out swinging after Apple's rocky iOS 6 Maps launch

It's handbags at dawn after Nokia seized the chance to make hay after a rare misstep by Apple, trumpeting its own maps efforts and accusing Cupertino of prioritising form over function.

Nokia has pounced on Apple's rocky launch of its new Maps app for iOS6 to trumpet its own mapping and location service features.

Apple dropped Google Maps for its own Maps apps when it released iOS 6 this week. It's been a far from smooth transition, with Apple's homegrown maps app attracting numerous complaints from users, less than impressed with examples of odd rendering, out of date maps and locations that are just plain wrong (the German city of Berlin being relocated to Antartica is one notable example.)

iOS 6 maps
Apple's iOS 6 maps have had a rocky start. Image: Jason D O'Grady

Shortly after Apple's maps app hit the headlines, Nokia released its own benchmark poking holes in the mapping features the Samsung Galaxy S III and Apple's iPhone 5. 

Nokia took a swing at Apple's photorealistic maps, saying that "pretty" doesn't cut it for the "must have" mapping experience, and adding the mapping for its own flagship device, the forthcoming Lumia 920 , will be the only service that truly functions offline. Samsung's, which uses Google Maps, does partially via caching, while the iPhone 5 needs a connection. 

"Unlike our competitors, which are financing their location assets with advertising or licensing mapping content from third parties, we completely own, build and distribute mapping content, platform and apps," wrote Pino Bonetti on Nokia’s official Conversations blog.

In another dig at Apple, Nokia said the Lumia 920 will also offer public transport directions across over 500 countries -- a feature Apple's Maps currently lack -- while its voice guided turn-by-turn navigation had the most comprehensive coverage in the world.

The Finnish handset maker needs maps, along with other features like its PureView camera and glove-friendly touchscreen, to deliver the differentiation it desperately needs to convince customers to switch from platform leaders Android and iOS.

"Our superior apps are built on the most accurate, automotive-grade Navteq maps, meticulously developed by over 20 years of know-how," said Bonetti -- a reference to Nokia's $8.1bn 2007 Navteq acquisition.

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