STOCKHOLM— Nokia Corp.'s NOK1V.HE +1.02% mapping business is making a new push to bring its maps directly to consumers, as the company tries to play catch-up with rival mobile mapping services provided by Google Inc. GOOGL -0.02% and AppleInc. AAPL -3.49%
The Finnish technology supplier will soon release free-of-charge map apps for mobile devices running Google's Android and Apple's iOS platforms, Nokia executive Sean Fernback said during an interview. The apps, scheduled for release before the end of the year, would be unique in that they would work without an Internet connection, Nokia said. Nokia's main mapping business is geared toward corporate customers that pay licensing fees to use the digital-mapping platform, including auto makers and logistics-dependent businesses such as FedEx Corp. FDX +1.12% and Amazon.com.AMZN -0.94%
The impetus to make its maps available to consumers on a larger number of mobile devices comes as Nokia's maps are no longer tied to the fate of the company's shrinking and unprofitable handset business, transferred to Microsoft Corp.MSFT -0.19% earlier this year.
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