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Drive-2

GLOBAL – Yesterday’s announcement that Nokia is to provide free walk and drive navigation on a range of smartphones sparked a flurry of reaction from across the world. In what has been described as a bold, market changing move, Nokia has laid down the foundations for a services strategy that is a sure-hit for success. We’re super excited, not just because of the free for life navigation functionality, but the range of premium, location based services that’ll be coming with it. Alongside Michelin guides Lonely Planet guides come a host of map-based functionality that’ll really bring navigation to life, whether you’re in the car, or on foot. There’s plenty to read about yesterday’s announcements, and we’ve just selected a few choice cuts below.

Kicking things off, Thomas Ricker from Engadget said

“Nokia also gave us some insight into the financials of today’s move. Instead of nickel-and-diming its users for individual services, Nokia is taking a “solution pricing” approach that is more attractive to potential customers. In other words, by making the platform more tempting through a robust feature set, Nokia will sell more high-margin smartphones and thus boost the bottom line. A move that certainly makes sense to us. Hey Nokia, high-fives all around!”

Meanwhile, the Financial Times said “Mapping is one of Nokia‚Äôs strongest assets” and also compared the new free service to the paid-for one that went before.

The Wall Street Journal, highlighting the impact, said

“Nokia, which has so far sold around 83 million phones with Global Positioning System, expects its sales of navigation phones to rise rapidly following Thursday’s initiative.”

The Telegraph explained the details of what’s on offer

“In association with mapping firm Navteq, which Nokia has owned since 2007, Ovi Maps will cover 180 countries, and offer turn by turn information for 74 of those, in 46 languages. Traffic data will also be available for 10, including the UK, although its use would form part of a mobile phone tariff. Preloading maps, however, means expensive data roaming charges can be avoided when abroad.”

The San Francisco Chronicle said

“The world’s largest cell phone company said today that the new Ovi Maps application will be available immediately on about 20 million existing devices around the world at no charge. This is good news for consumers and spells more trouble for makers of personal navigation devices. Nokia executives said the tide has turned toward making basic navigation a free service.”

The Sydney Morning Herald looked further at the possibilities

“Mobiles phones also allowed the navigation information to be integrated with other functions such as the user’s contact list and appointments. For instance, when travelling to a meeting, the phone could automatically send a message to the users’ friend when they are five minutes away from the meeting place.”

Overall the response to the move was hugely positive and very encouraging. It paves the way for a new platform of exploration for Nokia, its partners and most importantly for customers. I for one am super excited about this move, and the wealth of possibilities it’s going to bring.

Read more reaction at Google News, Yahoo! and Bing.