According to a report from Bloomberg, Nokia is targeting Apple as a potential buyer for its maps business. Nokia has recently been trying to sell its HERE Maps division due to it losing revenue. The report claims that Nokia is seeking around $3.2 billion for its maps business. Nokia first bought the mapping assets in 2008 for $8.1 billion.
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In addition to Apple, Nokia is reportedly trying to sell HERE to Facebook, Baidu, Sirius XM, Amazon, and Alibaba. Beyond the fact that its HERE Maps division has been losing money, Nokia also wants to focus more on mobile network equipment to compete with companies like Huawei. Nokia last week purchased Alcatel-Lucent for 15.6 billion euros to help it create the world’s largest supplier of mobile-phone networks equipment.
Apple would use the data from HERE Maps for its own Maps apps on iOS, OS X, and in CarPlay. After a rough initial launch, Apple Maps has gradually been improving. In August 2014, Apple hired former Nokia HERE and NAVTEQ executive Torsten Krenz to join the Maps team. The company also hired an Amazon A9 VP to join its Maps team.
Apple has been using crowdsourcing to improve a lot of its Maps features, but the addition of data from Nokia HERE could improve its offering and make it a stronger competitor to Google Maps.
Earlier this year, Nokia launched its HERE mapping app on iPhone and we noted at the time that it was a true competitor to Apple Maps and Google Maps. The app is still available on the App Store for free.