HTC looking to get into the mapping business?

HTC Maps

HTC, much like Samsung, has been targeted by not only ourselves, but consumers too. The companies have been in the heat of complaints when it comes to lack of support for Windows Phone, when compared to Nokia. We'll attempt to not sound like a broken record, but it's long been the case where Nokia has pushed the platform forward, with Samsung and HTC (as well as other manufacturers) taking more of a back seat approach. 

Despite what we all may think of HTC, the company may yet show consumers that the towel hasn't been thrown in when it comes to Windows Phone. The news website Windows Phone Italy has contacted sources familiar with HTC plans in Taiwan and have learnt that the company is looking at a navigation solution for its family of Windows Phones. Could we see the first sign of the company looking to match its unique hardware with software?

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It's unclear whether or not this service will be developed from the ground up, or will build on top of the existing HTC Locations app, which is no longer available (for Windows Phone 8 devices). Unfortunately, the news website does not currently have details on progress made, or when we can look to see such a service launched on the platform. As well as this, it's unknown whether HTC will offer the mapping service for free to compete with Nokia's HERE platform.

While there are many questions still in the air, we'll keep our eyes open for more details to come to light, but should HTC start supporting Windows Phone hardware with new OEM apps, we can only see this as a positive move that consumers will view as a bonus when looking at HTC smartphones. If the company can build a catalogue that almost matches what Nokia has in the collection of OEM apps on the Windows Phone Store, HTC could see a boost in Windows Phone sales and following.

Source: Windows Phone Italy


Reader comments

HTC looking to get into the mapping business?


Hey now that sounds like a smart thing to do HTC!  -Make it free and not half-assed and people will flock over.... err well maybe?

Great news!  It's all about competition and choice.  My last 4 phones have been a Nokia or HTC.  My favorite brands.  So either way I look at it, I can't go wrong.

I was torn between the L920 and 8X. Ended up with L920, and Nokia's apps and general support of WP was the absolute deciding factor.

I'm skeptical. It's uncharacteristic of HTC to invest in Windows Phone and Windows Phone 8s already have a free mapping solution, albeit slightly gimped by Nokia.

Extremely unlikely. Building the required mapping data and metadata to rival Microsofts/Nokias or Googles Maps would take hundreds of millions of dollars. And that's not saying anything of building the apps and services to access them.

I agree, for a company like HTC who is already struggling to achieve profitability quarter after quarter a move like this makes no sense. It would be better to license the mapping data from someone ane build up the apps from there.

See to be honest, Nokia have won this battle before htc have entered after making HERE available to everyone. We need something more!

LOL! +10000, but hey if it means HTC doing something, I`m for it since I have an 8X :P Don`t wanna feel left out, although Nokia is doing a GREAT job releasing apps for everybody (i.e. Maps and #2InstaWithLove).

Exactly!  While I applaud the efforts, Nokia has it covered for all WP users.  They need to focus on some other needed services/apps.

But, we already have Nokia's HERE suite available and apparently we'll be able to purchase Drive+ once that comes out so while I appreciate them maybe attempting to differentiate in the software there are plenty of things they could do that aren't clones of what Nokia has already done (and made available for all Windows Phones).

I think they might build their map software, but MAP provider, no. There's a big difference between the two.
Providing map data is intensly expensive that Google has been building for 7 years and Nokia when it was the giant in 2000-2008 bought one of the 3 map providers (Navteq, TomTom and Google) Navteq for 7 billion euros. 
HTC would never have money to buy one of these companies or build its own. It's own customized map software that's data is provided by Nokia, Google or TomTom is a another thing. 

HTC, instead of doing what's been done, bring something new to the platform that makes me consider an 8X instead a Lumia. Maybe some exclusive apps or games.

As mentioned the amount of time and money required would be insane. Remember that Nokia purchased Navteq for 8 billion dollars... That's billion with a B.

HTC needs to innovate not just follow.

Nokia gave here access to all windows phones. Lets move on!

When OEM's (other than Nokia) complain about being unable to differentiate their product due to lack of UI customization.... They need only look at Nokia. Nokia gets it. Their phones are prized as first choice for most looking for a Windows Phone. Why? They offer an easily superior set of proprietary services and applications. I'm not saying HTC and Samsung have to match Nokia blow for blow, but ANY solid effort at all would certainly help. HTC seems to be moving in the right direction if this turns out to be true.

I think HTC will license a engine and repackage it. With like 2 Free years. I mean after 2 years most people change their phones or they are broken soon after...

Sure its great to have apps to choose from, but if HTc manages to come up with anything else than more bloatware, I'll be greatly surprised. I see HTC turning over a new leaf with the One (that packs surprisingly interesting softwsre not just OK cam, check it out!), but they have to have quite an impressive twist on mapping to decrown Here maps.

Why would HTC bother with mapping....surely they should be able to find something more innovative like adding more bass to that "Beats Audio"

Just image HTC had a App with Google supplied map and it combines Nokia's mindless separation of Map and Drive Apps into one, it has a chance.  Let's be honest, Nokia Map and Drive should be ONE app.  Offline maps should include satellite images (may be smaller areas).  

and at what resolution would those satellite images be? are you willing to give up many gigs of ur phones memory to store satellite emages which are practically worthless for navigation and transit? Also thats exactly what AR apps like city lens are for. Drive the location and if u need to orient urself use city lens and have the most up to date (meaning present) view of the place.

Why would you need offline satellite images? Though I agree Nokia should club drive and maps app together.

The HTC map thing is just plain dumb. Just use HERE and be done with it. Use that money for something else. May be buy some game companies and release some awesome games. HTC will become the most loved company in the world!!!

I'm starting to see a trend of Me too with HTC. I think HTC should stay original an stay true to themselves, in this case hardware. I think of HTC making their own mapping software is a bad idea. I have HTC locations on my HTC Titan I and it is aweful. They made their own app combined with a third party mapping company. Nothing wrong with that, if only that I get the impression HTC does little with customer complaints. Yes perhaps in the long run. But to be honest, the current app could really do with an update itself. Making their own app will only increase market chaos, and that is a bad thing. I would rather suggest to HTC to team up with Here on mapping. The customer wants reliability and consistency with maps, not another maps to choose from. HTC will certainly ask another premium price for their app. The current one of HTC is clearly too expensive for its performance and support.