Nokia’s HERE Maps division won’t be spending as much development time on the Windows Phone platform as it has in the past. In a new interview with The Next Web, Sean Fernback, the Senior Vice President, Everyday Mobility, at the company’s HERE division, is quoted as saying, “As a result of the transaction, we’re having to wind down our Windows Phone app development and shift it over towards Android and iOS.”
The “transaction” Fernback is referring to is, of course, Microsoft’s acquisition of Nokia’s Devices and Services division in April. Nokia has made no secret of the fact that it wants to expand its HERE Maps efforts so it can be a viable competitor to Google Maps. A few weeks ago, it launched an Android version of its HERE Maps app for Samsung smartphones and will expand that app to more Android devices, as well as iOS, later this year.
In today’s interview, Fernback says that while the Windows Phone development of HERE Maps may not be getting as much attention anymore, it won’t be going away completely. He added, “It’s a dialogue we’re having [with Microsoft], so we will see where it takes us.” It’s more than possible that the two companies could reach an agreement that will allow HERE Maps to continue heavy development on the Windows Phone front.
HERE Maps launched as a Windows Phone, and Nokia Lumia smartphones, exclusive in 2013, in a rebranding of Nokia Maps. Nokia also released a version of the app for Windows 8.1. Do you think Nokia is making the right or wrong decision in scaling down their Windows Phone efforts for HERE Maps?
Update: Pino Bonetti from the HERE Maps team has left a detailed response below regarding the information presented here. In short, Bonetti reaffirms that HERE Maps will be used by Microsoft for at least 4 years, offline maps are not going anywhere, and that HERE and Microsoft are “discussing with Microsoft how to proceed” with software development. In short, this looks to be more like catching Microsoft and HERE between talks, rather than any firm decisions, as Microsoft is likely to take on development more in the future.