Nokia May Sell Its HERE Mapping Business

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Nokia is considering the sale of its HERE mapping business, according to a statement released today.

The Finnish mobile giant heavily reduced its business when it sold its devices arm to Microsoft for $7.3 billion last year, and HERE is one of the last consumer-facing components that the company retained — alongside its embryonic line of devices, which includes its N1 Android tablet.

That said, the company — which today also confirmed a deal to buy Alcatel-Lucent for $16.6 billion — pointed out that it is only “reviewing” options for HERE at this point.

“Nokia today announces that it has initiated a review of strategic options, including a potential divestment, for its HERE business… The strategic review of HERE is on-going and it may or may not result in any transaction,” it said.

Nokia, which also sold its MixRadio service — another consumer-facing product — to messaging app company Line, would be likely to have plenty of suitors if it did decide to part with HERE. The company’s mapping technology has always been highly rated, and a revamped version of its service for mobile launched for Android last year and iOS this year.

HERE has also clinched a number of strategic partnerships, including a rollout with Samsung (before the main Android app was released) and an agreement to power internet giant Baidu’s maps service outside of China. In addition, a range of top companies — including Microsoft, Amazon, Deutsche Telekom, Ford, and BMW — use the HERE API.