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Free stuff is popular, says Nokia

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nokia_logoNokia has announced that since its new version of Ovi Maps with free walk and drive navigation launched on Thursday 21 January, there have been over 1.4 million downloads. “The one million mark was reached already at the end of last week,” says an official statement.

“We’re averaging a download a second, 24 hours a day,” added Anssi Vanjoki, Nokia’s executive vice president. “When we announced free walk & drive navigation we knew it would be a game-changer. The number of people now using their Nokia for navigation, and as a result looking for more location-aware software, is growing faster than even we predicted.”

Vanjoki said that using Nokia’s investment in NAVTEQ, the mobile phone company has been able to remove the costs associated with navigation for drivers and pedestrians and is quickly activating a massive user base to which it can offer new location features, content and services.

As of 31 January, the top five countries downloading the new version of Ovi Maps were: China, Italy, UK, Germany and Spain. The top five most popular Nokia devices installing the download were: Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia N97, Nokia 5230 and Nokia E72.

“We estimate there were already 25.9 million people actively using GPS navigation on their mobile phones at the end of 2009,” said Chris Jones, principal analyst at research firm Canalys.  

From next month, all new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include the new version of Ovi Maps, pre-loaded with local country map data, with high-end walk and drive navigation and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra cost.