On Wednesday, Finnish handset maker Nokia announced that it has partnered with Groupon for promoting deals on maps on its Lumia line of smartphones --- a move which Nokia is banking on to gain a leading edge in a swarming space competing for the attention of cellphone users in the US.
The Nokia-Groupon partnership – the financial terms of which remain undisclosed – will result in ‘Groupon Now!’ offers being displayed with a green-colored “G” icon on Nokia maps. It will be possible for the US cellphone users to purchase the deals from their handsets, as well as get directed to the locations, via Nokia’s navigation system, for redeeming the offers.
According to Michael Halbherr, the Executive VP of location and commerce at Nokia, while the Groupon partnership is the first such deal which Nokia has inked for monetizing its maps, it is likely that the company may come up with other similar deals – for example, to facilitating cellphone users in making reservations or bookings - in the future.
After having marked its foray into the navigation business with its 2008-acquisition of Navteq for $8.1 billion, Nokia claims that its maps are currently being used by nearly 90 percent of car navigation systems, which offer competition to free products like Google Maps on handsets and computers.
Meanwhile, about the importance of location-based services in Nokia's overall strategy, the company’s CEO Stephen Elop told the media in Chicago that the handset maker was even prepared to allow rivals to get these services aboard their smartphones.
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