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Nokia turns focus to digital mapping with Navteq

Nokia has been sampling a variety of paths to save itself from a complete meltdown, and here's a new one: map-linked advertising.

Nokia has been sampling a variety of paths to save itself from a complete meltdown, and here's a new one: map-linked advertising.

According to Reuters, Nokia is jumping into the location-based services business:

Ailing Finnish cellphone maker Nokia Oyj is revamping its business to bolster location-based services as it tries to gain profitability and compete more effectively against rivals such as Apple Inc.

Nokia said on Wednesday it would incorporate Navteq, an independent unit specializing in the fast-growing digital mapping, into its broader services business.

The Finnish-based mobile device maker acquired Navteq, then the the world's largest digital map maker, in 2008. There weren't details as to how Nokia will specifically incorporate location-based services onto its platform.

The amount of options when it comes to location-based services often feels like the mob of daily deal sites abound: there are just too many to choose from anymore. There also isn't a need for so many location-based services either. Foursquare found its footing with some discounts and the cutesy badge program, Facebook makes sense because it goes to the user's profile, and even Yelp's check-in system works because it ties in with reviews that the site was famous for during the last few years.

Thus, it is hard to imagine Nokia becoming a leader in this field when the most it has to offer in terms of digital mapping is Ovi Maps, which isn't all that popular anyway when you compare it to Google Maps and Bing Maps that are accessible from many more devices and platforms.

It's admirable for Nokia to try to spur innovations in different parts of its digital and mobile offerings, but this better not be the project that the company is placing all its hopes on.

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