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Nokia Buys NAVTEQ, Launches WiMAX Enabled N800

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Nokia has long been at the forefront of mobile GPS, offering free software to consumers and arguably being the first company to integrate it into a mainstream handset in the form of the N95. Now it wants to go to the next level..
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The Finns have show their commitment to the sector by buying specialist NAVTEQ for €5.7bn (€5.4bn net of its existing cash balance). The deal will officially close in Q1 2008 and NAVTEQ will continue to be run independently from Nokia at this time - though since it already provides the Nokia with mapping for its handsets the bond will undoubtedly tighten (perhaps eventually to exclusivity?).

It could also be the first of a number of similar industry moves as GPS technology gradually creeps away from dedicated devices and is subsumed by smartphones.
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In related news, Nokia is also causing a stir by confirming it will release a version of its N800 internet tablet with WiMAX early next year. The wide area WiFi tech will be joined with GPS (see: convergence, convergence, convergence) making it a potentially barnstorming all-rounder, though any additional changes beyond this are unknown at this stage.

Now if only the Finns could make attractive products...

Link:
Nokia UK

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