Nokia reportedly will sell HERE Maps division to Audi, BMW and Daimler

Nokia's quest to sell off its HERE Maps division may have come to an end. A new report claims that the company is close to signing off on a deal that will sell the maps division to German-based car makers Audi, BMW and Daimler for over $2.71 billion.

Nokia put its HERE maps business on the block earlier this year, and it attracted a number of suitors. However, it was the trio of German car companies that apparently had the best offer, according to The Wall Street Journal:

"Nokia has been negotiating exclusively with the three car makers over the sale of the company, whose development of high-definition real-time digital maps is seen as a core technology in the development of self-driving vehicles, and a vast array of future automotive safety systems. The car companies intend to purchase all of Nokia Here and then invite other global auto makers to take stakes in the company, the person said."

Source: Wall Street Journal

209 Comments
  • Hmm I thought they would get a lot more than that.
  • It's enough for a full map service.
  • I think that's overpriced. Microsoft got Mojang at $2.5 billion and that's worth way more than HERE.
  • Map services by HERE > crap games like Minecraft
  • How can it be crap game if it can bring more revenue than HERE map?
  • $ !=quality
  • Ok well how are you measuing quality between the two. I haven't played Minecraft in a while, but I don't remember any game breaking bugs in it, how ever I have had Here miss streets. 
  • Varies between person. I found Minecraft to be very boring. HERE Maps has failed me, but were I to go out and need GPS mapping today, I'd still use it. Were I bored and wanting to play a game right now, Minecraft wouldn't make the top-100 list of games I'd fire up. It's a useless game, to me.
  • That is true. However the one does not exclude the other either.
  • Wait 'till hololen comes out with minecraft, many people will be drooling at the crap game ;) ...
  • Minecraft cannot be compared with map data for car navigation systems. On one side - spare time filler - on the other - software and data important for industries and everyday life.
  • Most definitetly
  • For you it may be crap, but for others it's not. When you look at the popularity of Minecraft it apparently appeals to a big audience.
  • Microsoft should've bought "Here"
  • I agree, Microsoft should've bought it. Now what's going to happen to maps? I for one prefer them over any other map service.
  • What we want is something like Here or better than that and I believe Bing maps can do that. It is lot better on WM10.
  • If MS could improve it with offline downloads, full traffic reports, voice nav, and other things, it would be great. Its still barebones for 8.1 though.
  • A game worth more than a company that collects mapping data for thousands of roads in countries all over the world and updates them year after year? Nokia did overpay for Navteq when they bought them but there's no way Minecraft is worth $2.5 billion and definitely not worth more than HERE.
  • It's worth more because its waaaaaaaaaaaaaYYYYY more popular.
  • The irony of today's world - forget intrinsic value, it's popularity and hype that counts, and especially anything related to social networks...
  • Basically how IPOs and stock prices work.
  • If you saw the incredible amount of time younger kids and teens are still putting into Minecraft, you would see the value more clearly. They absolutely are getting value out of the game and don't look to be getting tired of it anytime soon.
  • Here losses millions every quarter. Minecraft has >60M paying customers and generates 200M a quarter in profit. Here has no profit and will never have any profits. Massive selling AAA game franchises like Batman, Elderscrolls, Minecarft, Assasins creed, The sims, Diablo, Warcraft, Halo, Battlefield & Call of duty are all worth more than Here maps, because they generage billions in actual sales.      
  • Well said. Either way glad it's gone hopefully to a good new home. My s class coupe could do well with here.
  • Audi owner here. I would say be prepared to pay even more for map updates. Currently, Audi charges 350 per update and it HAS to be done at the dealership. Gone are the days of just buying an updated DVD and popping it in. Technically, they have fewer things to worry about from an inventory standpoint and yet the map updates went up in price with the move to the software update model. I do not trust the germans with anything except engineering. When it comes to overcharging, they are very good at it.
  • HERE isn't the most watched IP in YouTube history, garnering 3.9 billion views per month, every month. Ten thousand people didn't buy tickets to attend HEREcon, setting a world record. No one is making a Hollywood movie about HERE or spinoff videogames. There are no HERE Legos or other licensed toys on store shelves. HERE books don't dominate the best-seller lists. HERE costumes don't annualy top the list of top Halloween outfits. No one has purchased 75 million copies of HERE. Not only is Minecraft worth more than HERE, but it's worth way more than $2.5 billion. It'll go down in history as Microsoft's greatest acquisition. Meanwhile. HERE won't even be around a decade from now.
  • It would be incredibly weird if a mapping service did inspire those things. I fail to see the point. Sure, Minecraft is important, I get it. HERE has a different value and it is mostly based on what Nokia has spent there or what a private company would pay to create a service like HERE. Regardless, mapping is very different than games. I really don't see the point of comparing either and then defending it. I enjoy HERE. It's not quite as good as Google for local searches but on Windows, it works great. The transit and offline features work better than Google's as well so I will miss it were it to be killed for Windows tomorrow. Hopefully that doesn't happen. Glad Microsoft has something more permanent in line to replace it too.
  • The point is pretty clear: Minecraft is worth more than HERE. HERE is vastly superior to Google Maps.
  • HERE is NOT vastly superior to Google Maps. HERE's routing, and on-the-fly rerouting, sucks.
  • Privacy issues alone make it superior. Google cannot be trusted. That said, the HERE Transit app is definitely superior to Google Maps in my metro area.
  • Why on earth would you watch HERE on YouTube? That's the dumbest thing I've read today.
  • Sooner or later mojang's 15mins. of fame will be up just like some of the fb game dev companies that have since seen declined interest
  • Sounds like the best option for them.
  • I did not see this coming... but, it makes sense.
  • What does this mean for Bing and Here Drive? Will we still have first class maps and sat nav? Will they still be free? Here maps are always in date, unlike google maps which are yeeeeaaarrrsss out dated!
  • Bing have their own map services. It has a lot of potential for Microsoft.
  • Which uses HERE maps...
  • No they don't. It relies on Here. Without it there is no Bing Maps.
  • It doesn't "rely" on Here. It uses some of it's data.
  • Microsoft has been collecting mapping data for a VERY long time. Who remembers Street and Trips with the USB GPS receiver?
  • I had that and bought Auto Route also. Got around Europe one summer with it!
  • There is a Windows phone Map app that is the default for non-Lumia devices.  However, most Windows phones are Lumia devices with Here apps pre-installed.  Open the People app and tap on an address to view it in the stock Map app.  Selecting the voice navigation will open Here Drive+. Here apps and the Map app use the offline maps you download through the phone's settings, so it isn't tied to Here apps if they happen to leave the Windows platform. I prefer the Here Maps and Drive+ interface over the stock Map app.  I don't see the Here apps being pulled from the Windows ecosystem since they know there is a strong user base, and it is now available on iOS and Android.  I believe Microsoft has been working on a Bing Maps app as a replacement for the stock Map app that will be more like the Here apps.  I think Windows Central wrote an article about it, but I'm not sure.
  • I'm pretty sure Microsoft had an agreement in place to license Here. Whoever buys Here, will have to honor that agreement till it expires. I doubt that the automakers will not renew the agreement after it expires. They have no grudge against microsoft, like google does.
  • I think there is a 3 or 4 year agreement, and I believe Microsoft is working on a Bing Maps app so they don't have to rely on Here apps as much.  Bing Maps can't be any worse than the stock Map app.
  • I think there is 10 years agreement.
  • Google maps years out dated? Funny.
  • My street has existed for 6-7 years, it's not recognized by Google, Here and Bing, both see it and have a street view of it.
  • I'm not saying that all services don't have their errors, but I have had Google Maps give me multiple completely incorrect locations. Even using my home address shows the entire wrong side of the half circle drive I live on. I've found many a tow truck driver and service repairman sitting on the wrong side of the drive staring at their GPS units. Bing, Here, MapQuest and even the much abhorred Apple map services all have it correct. But, that's probably none of my business...
  • I could be wrong but I'm guessing your not in the US. I've heard Here is much more up to date in Europe but in the US Google is much more up to date. Here still recommends taking a major interstate that has been closed for months due to a massive rockslide they are clearing saying there are no delays whereas Google knows it is closed.
  • For me HERE is way more helpful than Google. I use it in New York City and Long Island. I've used it elsewhere in the US with no problems. Meanwhile my dads android misses traffic and isn't great with side streets while HERE is very good with both for me.
  • Really?  I've found HERE to be terrible in New York City and on Long Island.  And God forbid if you know a shortcut or other route to your destination, it'll hang the HERE app, while it stubbornly tries to get you back on its original route.
  • It's probably your phone and not the app.
  • What ever Bing uses, I have find it to be more out of date than Google for aerial shots.  Search for World Trade Center map in NYC city.  The Bing aerial map is from before the One World Trade building even began contruction.  That was over 9 years ago!  If you zoom in, the photos are a little more current, but not much.  On Google, the aerial seems to be within the last year.  Sad, but I go to Google if I am interested in the latest aerial shots.
  • Do all 3 have the same parent company?
  • Nope.
  • Daimler: Chrysler, Mercedes, Smart, etc
    BMW: Mini, Rolls Royce
    Volkswagen: Audi, Porsche, Bugatti, Ducati, etc
  • Ducati
  • Daimler is a pile of shit.
  • Correct, which is why I laugh when people eBray about how awesome their new Jeep is. It might be awesome now, but it won't last through your loan....
  • I beg to differ there Steven I bought my Jeep Grand Cherokee in '99 (4.7L) and its still running strong after 249,000 + miles. No major drive line problems either Just routine maintenence and upkeep. About 50/50 road versus off road miles and useage.
  • FYI Daimler doesn't own Jeep, Fiat does.
  • Of course, and I take it you have done an extensive amount of research to support that statement? Also, Chrysler merged with FIAT to create FCA after the financial crisis. Daimler hasn't owned it for the last 10 years.
  • Well i just checked the full list for VAG: VW, Audi, Lamborghini, Porsche, Bentley, Bugatti, Skoda, Seat, Man, Scania, Neoplan and Ducati... my my
  • You do realize chrysler is not owned by Daimler they are owned by the Italian company Fiat Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • And Audi owns Skoda and Lamborghini and others.
  • Not Audi own Lamborghini, Volkswagen does, VW owns Audi too..and many more
  • Technically, Audi owns Lamborghini and Lamborghini owns Ducati. Essentially, VW owns them all. It's a confusing map of ownership based on what made sense financially at the time. VW will be simplifying it soon - they're splitting them up in 4 divisions - into mainstream cars, mainstream luxury, supercars and commercial.
  • Actually Aman2901 is right, Audi own Lamborghini, VW own Skoda however...
  • Chrysler is owned by Fiat.
  • What's left from Nokia?
  • Advance technologies and Networking.
  • Connecting you.
  • Licencing the name to iPad knockoffs?
  • Their name on my Lumia 1020 and 1520
  • Nuclear bombs
  • There goes windows phone support
  • That's never going to happen, WP is probably the only os that uses HERE maps! why would they drop support?
  • I think it is even on droids and iOS. And working way better.
  • It's the same, but it is on Android for sure. I'm using it instead of Google Maps....
  • Yes, it's there. How many users actually use it? I bet most users stick with the default mapping solution on each platform, even if IOS' solution sucks.
  • I use it on iphone. WP version way better and smooth. I use a lot and stopped using my car nav. HERE is updated and very accurate for me in Dubai.
  • Facebook uses HERE maps. HERE maps are available on Android and iOS and it's better than both Apple and Google Maps. Believe me, they don't need WP to survive. Actually, if they needed WP to survive, they'd be dying along with WP.
  • Well we lost here transit and city lens amogst others, so why not full here support.
  • It's not needed any more, is it?
  • HERE Maps? HERE Drive? The best map/sat nav apps I have ever used! Plus the service is free.
  • Audi, BMW and Daimler are not google
  • HERE transit is already gone, drive and maps will follow soon..   I really liked Here Transit, it was a great app which worked very well for me.. Things are getting thin for Windows, Microsoft needs to step up and quick as they're losing the mobile war.. fast
  • How do you mean it's gone? It's still on the Windows Phone Store in the UK so it hasn't gone.
  • HERE Transit still available on my USA view of the Store as well as the other HERE stuff.
  • I have Here Transit on the windows mobile preview.
  • I never used it, because it did not work at all for me. It is now integrated into the normal here maps however
  • You talking about Livesight and not Transit. Livesight was integrated with Here maps and ready was separate.
  • Moovit is twice the app HERE Transit was.  In New York City and Long Island, it never had the correct times, or even the right stations, for the subways or the LIRR.
  • BMW is a Windows Phone consumer
  • They are?
  • More a "Nokia costumer". They have a long-term contract with Nokia for some of the phones. Staff was using Symbian smartphones until 2014 and BMW replaced them with Nokia Lumias.
  • Yes they are, MS has made huge inroads in Europe. Which is why I wish they would put there focus here and not on the US.
  • Well, if they must sell then this. This will keep the great maps in business and available for phones and cars.
  • Sometimes I feel how good it'd have been if Nokia had not chosen this path to the dark side
  • Ya right. They would plunge their market share further.
  • Rumors nothing else. If exact details like these would have leaked then Nokia would be required to confirm them. They have not so lets see what the price will be in the end.
  • How is their stock not going up with this news?
  • Because the deal was already priced in. The network equipment/services business is incredibly competitive, requiring a ton of investment for little returns. And then they have a big IP portfolio to license out. Not exactly the makings of a massively successful business. It will likely plod along, but I don't expect, and apparently neither does the rest of the market, major things coming out of Nokia anytime soon. That said, I hope I'm wrong. Nokia has been many things during its existence, all kinds of industries. So let's see what they can do now that've freed themselves from the shackles of the profitless mobile and maps businesses.
  • And Microsoft did not buy HERE Maps why exactly? Even if just to take it out of the market and have one less competitor against Bing Maps.
  • Bing maps uses HERE maps for the most part. They would have just brought it in-house by buying it and the tradeoff probably wouldn't have been worth it.
  • Because Microsoft is a software company, not a mapping company. I thought Nadella had made that abundantly clear these last months?
  • To my understanding, Microsoft wanted to purchase HERE, along with the Devices division. But, Nokia wanted more than Microsoft was willing to pay, at the time.
  • Cheaper to license the mapping data than to buy and operate Here maps.
  • They probably should've bought it as a defensive move like they did when they bought the hardware division.  I believe WC wrote an article that said MS is working on a more robust Bing Maps app so they can rely less on Here apps.
  • Well on the preview you can tell they are sourcing data from more agencies. Also you can load corrections into Bing Maps
  • Well, if they retain theit autonomy, it doesn't really make a difference. They'll potentially have more resources as well, which is good in the long run. Plus it makes it easier to develop built in navigation systems for said companies (and I assume to those who buy stakes later on, as well)
  • Isn't here already used by most car nav systems?
  • If those 2.7 billion are right, we may not be seeing a FULL sale but only a partial sale. It's worth to keep that in mind. At any rate, if they sell, thank God it'