November 13, 2012 / 7:15 PM / 5 years ago

Nokia doubles down on mapping with Here.com

SAN FRANCISCO, Nov 13 (Reuters) - Nokia introduced a mapping application for the iPhone and other platforms on Tuesday and rebranded its geo-location services under the Here.com umbrella as it sought to exploit a bright spot in its product mix.

Nokia also said it was partnering with Mozilla, maker of the Firefox web browser, and will acquire a Bay Area start-up called Earthmine to provide 3-D street views for its maps.

The new IPhone app, created in the HTML 5 language that works on many different types of computing platform, is a clear effort to capitalize on the much-publicized weaknesses of Apple Inc's new mapping product.

Michael Halbherr, Nokia's executive vice president for location and commerce services, joked at a San Francisco launch event that the iPhone app was created "on the off chance that there are some iPhone users who want a different map."

Nokia executives stressed the advent of "computational mapping" that would allow users to generate a wide range of maps from the cloud-based Here.com services.

Mapping has emerged as a critical application in the emerging mobile computing economy.

Nokia's mapping services are seen as a strong point for the company, even as its market share in the handset business has plunged in the face of competition from Apple and makers of Android smartphones.

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