The recent acquisition of Nokia's Here digital mapping and location services business by a consortium comprising Audi, BMW and Daimler is a harbinger for widespread strategic change in technology supply for automobiles. Smartcar companies including Daimler and Volkswagen admit they need Apple and Google as partners, but these Silicon Valley companies also pose significant threats as suppliers and as direct competitors.
Nokia's Here unit took another step towards defining common specifications for processing information from automotive sensors through the cloud by hosting a forum comprising 16 auto industry companies.
Nokia's agreement to sell its HERE navigation business to a consortium of German car makers could prove a boon for the mobile industry, analysts at IHS Automotive said.
Nokia has reached a deal to sell its HERE mapping and location technology unit to a group of German automakers for a little more than $2.71 billion (€2.5 billion), according to a Wall Street Journal report.
Nokia's HERE mapping and location services business began a push to create a global standard for contactless transport ticketing payments using Near Field Communications (NFC)-enabled mobile phones.
The battle to acquire Nokia's HERE mapping and location technology unit appears to have settled into a waiting game between the company and a consortium of German automakers as other bidders have faded away, according to a Reuters report.
Nokia's HERE division published a specification designed to integrate information from a diverse range of automotive sensors via the cloud, in a move the unit said could improve road safety and ease congestion.
Nokia is still searching for a potential buyer for its HERE mapping and location business, as German car companies, Uber, Chinese search engine Baidu and perhaps even Apple and Facebook jockey with each other to get access to HERE's assets and technology.
Nokia has not indicated whether it will sell its HERE mapping business to a consortium led by German car makers, despite reports earlier this month that a deal was imminent.
Nokia said it is shifting its long-term strategy for its Nokia Technologies unit and will cut up to 70 jobs as a result. It's unclear at this point how Nokia's strategy for the division is changing.