Nokia's overlooked assets---its geolocation and mapping services---are cobbling together some momentum.
The latest burst of activity for Nokia's map business is a deal with Oracle, according to the Wall Street Journal. In short, Oracle will provide Nokia's mapping data in its applications. Oracle needed some option since Google wasn't going to cut it after a stinging courtroom loss for Larry Ellison and the gang.
Meanwhile, Nokia maps also got a plug from Apple CEO Tim Cook in his apology over iOS 6 mapping.
For a company where expectations are generally low, Nokia will take any good news it can get. And on the map front, Nokia has some mojo. Nokia partnerships include:
Now the Oracle deal, which is expected to be announced Monday, isn't a huge win Nokia does find a new audience. If Nokia's maps fly with the enterprise, perhaps tech execs will go for the company's Windows Phone 8 devices too. With Oracle, Nokia's geolocation business will have solid enterprise distribution to go along with its Microsoft partnerships on maps.
Related: Nokia comes out swinging after Apple's rocky iOS 6 Maps launch | Nokia Maps may provide mapping and GPS navigation on new Amazon Kindle Fire | Apple iOS 6 map flap gives Google geolocation advantage
Sure it's a stretch but you never know.
Should Nokia continue to land map deals it will have an asset it can always sell to bolster its balance sheet. Perhaps it'll even garner a return on its Navteq purchase, which topped the $8 billion mark.
Mapping is a major battleground for smartphone makers. Nokia finds itself with a rare edge on the geolocation front. The strategy for Nokia is also clear: Partner with everyone not named Google.
It's unclear whether Nokia can press its map advantage into other parts of the market, but the company has something it can build on.