The deal that would send Nokia’s HERE mapping business to three German automakers is now official. On Monday, the Finnish company announced that it would sell HERE to Audi, BMW, and Daimler for around $3 billion.
Audi, BMW, and Daimler will be able to implement HERE’s technology in their vehicles as soon as next year. Each automaker will be able to make a transition away from Google and Apple’s offerings, allowing more flexibility when it comes to tailoring the experience of a connected car. HERE’s real-time updates and parking data will also make it possible for the German automakers to increase the performance of self-driving cars.
Following the deal, Nokia will be split into two business entities. Nokia Networks and Nokia Technologies. Both will have completely separate goals and functions. Nokia Networks, which includes the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition, will focus on selling networking equipment. Nokia Technologies will be heavily invested in the research and development of future technologies.
The deal will officially close in the first half of 2016 and HERE’s mobile app is said to remain unaffected.
Come comment on this article: Nokia sells HERE mapping business to Audi, BMW, and Daimler for $3 billion
Nokia has announced the sale of its HERE maps business to a group of leading German automotive businesses, which includes Audi, BMW and Daimler. HERE sold for a price of $2.8 billion, resulting in a heavy loss on the $8.1 billion that Nokia paid when it bought the mapping business from Navteq back in 2008.
HERE maps will likely be used by the German car companies to expand on map and navigation services and accelerate the development of self-driving cars. Although Google may be grabbing most of the headlines, German car manufacturers have all been working on self-driving technologies at various levels, and HERE is likely to form the basis of new assistance systems which are key to fully autonomous vehicles.
Nokia’s real time mapping technology is also clearly quite useful for companies looking to implement improved on-demand services, such as traffic monitoring, and travel commerce analytics, which might result in companies and customers reducing their dependency on Google’s services.
“All carmakers are working toward providing amazing, new connected services, and only by collaborating and sharing data can we reach the critical mass to make real-time map updates a reality,” – HERE’s Pino Bonetti
Importantly for HERE’s existing customers, the Android mobile app will continue to run as normal. The technology used on over 80 percent of sat-nav systems in Europe and America that depend on HERE will also continue to operate independently from the new owners and the group will not be interfering with its operations.
The deal is expected to be finalized in the first half of 2016.
Nokia is selling its Here maps service to a group of German car makers for €2.8 billion (roughly $3.07 billion). The consortium is comprised of Mercedes’ owner Daimler, BMW, and Audi. As the latter is a VW subsidiary, the buyers essentially represent the entire German car industry — or at least all the big hitters. It was previously reported that Uber was interested in purchasing the service, but the car companies clearly brought the most attractive offer to Nokia’s table.
Although Here might not be a popular mobile mapping app, it remains the in-car entertainment navigation service. Last year, Nokia said that four out of five new vehicles sold with built-in navigation were being powered by Here. New owners VW, Daimler and Mercedes all utilize the service, as have many other manufacturers, including Ford, Toyota, and aftermarket GPS companies like Garmin.
The sale will leave Nokia as a two-business company focused on network infrastructure, new technology development, software, and licensing. It still has a large portfolio of patents and also licenses its name out to other manufacturers for use in consumer electronics. As usual, such a big-money deal is subject to regulatory approval, but the acquisition is likely to go through sometime later this year.
Tags: acquisition, audi, bmw, garmin, gps, here, maps, mercedes, nokia, sale, vw
Nokia may not be making its own smartphones anymore, but they are ensuring their future in the tech industry in multiple ways. We first heard about their newest venture last week, and today the company enters a new market by announcing the Nokia OZO, a VR camera specifically designed for professionals. Of course, this camera can create video for headsets like Google Cardboard and the Oculus Rift.
While it may seem odd to see Nokia making a virtual reality camera, their eccentric gadget looks promising. This spherical camera holds 8 shutter sensors and 8 microphones. The camera is also special in that it has sensors pointing upwards and downwards, unlike some other 360-degree cameras, which only capture horizontally. This will give videos a much more immersive nature, with both video and audio being completely multi-directional.
The Finnish company also makes sure to lure possible customers by offering some enticing software features. For starters, the camera allows for real-time viewing, as well as quickly rendered low-resolution footage (for testing). The OZO also manages to discard the need for pre-assembling your 360-degree content, which can be a convoluted process.
These software and hardware improvements will make it simpler for content creators to produce VR videos for our head-mounted displays. VR production company Jaunt even committed to support OZO by using the camera and supporting OZO content through its post-production software.
We can say virtual reality is a bit immature, at least in terms of consumer products and readily available content. The concept needs to be more polished, and I can honestly say the OZO is looking to be the most elaborated VR camera I have seen. It is well designed, simplifies workflow and should output “professional” quality footage.
Details such as specs and price are still kept under the veils, but Nokia tells us we should expect shipments to come in Q4 2015. We are pretty sure it won’t exactly be cheap, though! It is a professional tool, after all. Are any of you guys looking to take advantage of a Nokia OZO camera?
Nokia has just revealed a new camera for filmmakers called OZO that can capture virtual reality videos. But unlike similar devices from GoPro and Samsung unveiled in the past months, it’s not a flattened circle with cameras but a spherical ball-like device with shutters all over it. It has eight shutter sensors in all to capture 360-degree videos and eight integrated microphones. What users might find advantageous is its capability to show them what it’s shooting in real time through a VR headset. It can also churn out a low-resolution version of the footage it shot within just a few minutes if filmmakers want to see it again or to show it to someone else. Videos captured through similar cameras usually have to be stitched together during processing before you can see them, and that takes a lot of time.
Of course, directors can always publish high-res versions later on for VR viewing devices, including HUDs like the Oculus Rift. One studio, Jaunt Inc., has already pledged to use and support the OZO despite having a more traditional VR camera of its own. Nokia hasn’t revealed the device’s full specs and pricing yet, but it’s slated to be shipped out by the fourth quarter of 2015.
Have a question for one of the smartest men on the planet? Mark your calendar: on Monday July 27th at 8am ET, Stephen Hawking will be taking questions from the public in his first ever Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). If you can’t make it Monday, don’t worry about it, he’ll be answering questions for over a week — a first for the forum’s Q&A community.
While the extended AMA is great for folks who always come late to the party, it’s also a necessity for Hawking — it takes time for the world renowned scientist to compose answers with his Intel-powered assistive computer system, and the longer format is designed to compensate for the communication delay. Not only does that make this the longest AMA in Reddit history, but it means more Stephen Hawking. We’re okay with both of those things.
Hawking will be taking questions from the community, but he does have a few topics of his own in mind. This AMA is part of Wired and Nokia’s #MakeTechHuman initiative, which seeks to enable discussion about how technology can best serve humanity — Hawking is expected to use the platform to talk about his concerns with artificial intelligence, which he says is “potentially our greatest mistake in history.”
The fun starts Monday at 8am ET on Reddit’s /r/science forum.
[Image Credit: AP Photo / Kristy Wigglesworth]
Nokia is close to finishing an agreement to sell its maps unit to German luxury-car makers BMW AG, Mercedes-Benz parent Daimler AG and Audi AG for a deal estimated at approximately 2.5 billion euros.
A final agreement on the question of which automaker will hold patents and certain property rights is still unsettled. HERE provides mapping data to about 80 percent of cars with in-dash navigation systems in North America and Europe, and the luxury-car makers have already been using HERE mapping services in their navigation systems. This gave them an advantage over other businesses such as Uber Technologies Inc. who were also considered buying the maps unit from Nokia.
Car giants are focusing at the moment on mapping technologies as they are looking ahead to make self-driving cars a reality. Although Google is ahead of everybody else, Tesla has publicly announced plans for developing self-driving car technology. This deal would give BMW, Daimler and Audi access to the detailed maps that smart vehicles of the future will depend on.
The deal is expected to close soon and will likely be announced as early as July 31.
Source: Wall Street Journal
Come comment on this article: Nokia is ready to sell its HERE map business to German car makers
Microsoft’s earnings for the fourth quarter are in, and they show an operating loss of $2.1 billion, despite $22.2 billion in revenue (compared to $23.3 billion last year). A lot of that is due to the previously announced write-down for Nokia (and 7,800 job cuts) that caused an $7.5 billion hit. Of course, we knew that was coming, but the other news is that revenue and operating income were slightly down from last year too. Microsoft sold 8.4 million Lumia phones in Q4 (compared to 5.8 million last year), but revenue dropped 38 percent to $748 million, As the company looks forward to Windows 10, revenue for that division dropped 22 percent, a figure that it attributed to XP’s end-of-support cycle.
The net loss in Q4 amounted to $3.2 billion, which Bloomberg reports is its biggest loss ever. This occurs as Microsoft under new CEO Satya Nadella changes its approach to segments like hardware, and the cloud. It made more money from hardware, as revenue for Surface grew to $888 million and Xbox claimed a 27 percent gain. Even Bing is making more money, and says its market share in search has grown to 20.3 percent.
Filed under: Microsoft
Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s mobile division left the Finnish company with a bit too much free time on its hands. The team now finds itself expanding its reach into new ventures. Nokia is here to stay. We just don’t know where yet, but the latest reports claim they are planning to enter what is expected to be all the hype in the coming years – virtual reality (VR).
According to “sources familiar with the matter” Nokia is set to announce its first virtual reality product next week, at a rumored “VIP event” that should take place in Los Angeles, California. Unfortunately, the details are scarce and these sources fail to provide any other information regarding this new product. Is it a headset? A platform? Content?! We have no idea; what we do know is said move would likely signify Nokia’s biggest internal project since they officially retired from the mobile industry.
Sadly, it’s hard to say whether Nokia will be able to compete against the giants that now have their eyes and hearts set on the VR market. Microsoft’s Holo Lens, the HTC Vive, Sony’s Project Morpheus and the Rift by Facebook/Oculus all offer insane experiences of their own. Furthermore, a plethora of manufacturers and content providers have partnered with our beloved Google to expand on Cardboard, which is definitely the most accessible of the bunch.
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Can Nokia rise above their failed efforts in the extremely competitive mobile world and do better in another aggressive market? It’s hard to say at this point, but we will have an idea once (and if) the Lumia brand pioneer takes the stage to show us their latest goodies.
Meanwhile, we continue to look towards Finland to see where this legendary company can find its place in the present tech world. They have been expanding on services like the Nokia Z Launcher, and hope to license their branding for other manufacturers to make devices touting their famous name. The first example was the Nokia N1 Tablet, an Android pad touting great specs and geared up to be among the first to adopt the new USB-C standard.
And while these actions may make us a bit confused, it seems like Nokia is getting ready to better re-define its position in the industry. New reports also state the company is getting ready to sell the Nokia HERE Maps division to Audi, BMW and Daimler.
What do you guys think? Do you have faith that Nokia will succeed in placing a foothold on the VR market? To be honest, I have a bit more faith on their mobile licensing plans. Of course, given that they go with Android this time, which seems to be the case.
Nokia has been trying to sell its HERE Maps division for some time, and it looks like the Finnish technology company may have finally found a potential buyer. According to a new report from The Wall Street Journal, German-based automobile manufacturers Audi, BMW and Daimler have agreed to purchase HERE Maps for slightly more than €2.5 billion ($2.71 billion).
Apparently Nokia has been exclusively negotiating with these three car makers for the sale, but that doesn’t mean other manufacturers won’t be able to take advantage of the advanced mapping software. The tipster says the final agreement could be ready within the next few days, and the three car companies then plan to invite other manufacturers to take stakes in the new company.
As of right now, the industry is dominated by Nokia’s HERE division, as it claims roughly 80% of the automotive industry as its customers. This makes it easy to see exactly why these businesses are banding together to reach a common goal – with multiple car makers holding stakes in HERE Maps, other companies wouldn’t have much incentive to license mapping software from Google or TomTom.
We’ll update this post as we learn more about the potential acquisition.