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HERE and Tizen Deal Opens the Door for HERE at Samsung

by Nitesh Patel | 11月 11, 2013

As I have always asserted, HERE would become a more attractive partner to a wide range of device vendors and service providers, once separated from Nokia’s devices business. Not surprisingly, rival device vendors to Nokia have been less enthusiastic to leverage HERE maps while Nokia received preferential treatment and access to mapping capability. During 2013 HERE has continued to execute its strategy to broaden its presence across all handset OS platforms, automotive manufacturers and enterprises. However, while HERE created a free HERE pedestrian map application for iOS, a HERE SDK for Android, and a web version of HERE maps for Firefox, these initiatives have been met with little success. To date Amazon is the only Android OEM to have leveraged the HERE SDK on Android phones or tablets.

Our view that HERE would only become attractive once separated from Nokia’s handset business was validated on Monday 11th November, when Tizen announced the HERE map and content platform would power its mapping and map related ecosystem. Free from its ties with Nokia HERE has been able to secure a berth with a young and emerging OS platform. Ultimately, developers on the Tizen platform will be able to leverage HERE’s map and content related APIs when developing their applications, benefiting from the scale and quality maps provided by HERE.

Although Tizen’s market share of global and regional smartphone sales will remain in the single digit range by 2017, supporting this emerging platform provides increased exposure to HERE’s APIs. HERE will likely benefit from the agreement from licensing revenue and potentially other business models that may have been agreed. For example, HERE could choose to take a share of advertising revenue generated by apps leveraging its map data. However, we expect the deal will not generate any meaningful revenues for Nokia. The financial market looks to agree with me, as Nokia’s shares enjoyed a moderate rise of 1.41% in the early trading in the Helsinki Stock Exchange. 

If the new Nokia can make the Tizen deal into a foot in the door for HERE at Samsung and succeed in open the door to the whole Samsung portfolio (Android and Windows Phone), this could be massive - in terms of boosting the ubiquity of HERE map services in the mobile arena.  It would not only be a game changer for the new Nokia, it could also be a game changer for Android, if Samsung swaps Google Maps for HERE.

It will not be a game changer for Tizen.  Our experience indicates that few users would shift OS because of a superior map and navigation service. Games, entertainment and browsing are still the key services that drive the flocks of users and developers.  In other words, Tizen will continue to struggle.

Wei Shi & Nitesh Patel

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