Nokia announced a couple of weeks ago that it was making Ovi Maps with GPS navigation free, matching Google Navigation. The company reported yesterday that it’s seen almost a million and a half downloads and that they’re coming at a rate of one every second:
Today Nokia announced that since the launch of the new version of Maps (see our recent post here) with free walk and drive navigation there have been a staggering 1.4+ million downloads with over 20% coming from China. The one million mark was reached already at the end of last week and we’re averaging a download a second, 24 hours a day, said Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President of Nokia.
Nokia is determined to lead the market in mobile maps, navigation and location-based services. This first step is a key part of rolling out location and map-based services, quickly activating a massive user base.
If “Nokia is determined to lead the market in mobile maps . . . ” free is a good way to jumpstart that leadership.
The company also said that the top five countries where it saw the activity were: China, Italy, UK, Germany and Spain. China is a particularly important market where Nokia is strong and Android is just starting to enter, notwithstanding Google’s recent threat to withdraw from the market.
Here’s Opera data for China from December:
Nokia Ovi Maps with navigation now becomes a kind of loss-leader or retention tool for mobile users, who might otherwise jump ship to the iPhone or Android, where Google has implemented a terrific navigation app (Android 2.0 and above).