Nokia: Ovi Maps With Free Navigation Averages A Download Per Second, 1.4M Total

I’m starting to suspect people like free stuff – a shocker, I know.

Nokia says the new version of Ovi Maps that includes free walk and drive navigation has been downloaded over 1.4 million times since its introduction on 21 January 2010.

Nokia says the 1 million mark was reached after just one week following the launch, and the company’s Executive VP Anssi Vanjoki adds that they’re currently seeing ‘a download a second, 24 hours a day’.

As of 31 January 2010 the top five countries downloading the new version of Ovi Maps were: China (!), Italy, UK, Germany and Spain. The top five most popular Nokia devices installing the download were: Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia N97, Nokia 5230 and Nokia E72.

From next month, all new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include the new version of Ovi Maps, pre-loaded with local country map data, with walk and drive navigation and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides at no extra charge.

Nokia clearly wants a piece of the fast-growing market of location-aware applications, and is looking for third-party developers to fill the gaps when it comes to content, new services and additional features.

Also, as my esteemed colleague Greg Kumparak so eloquently put it when Ovi Maps with free turn-by-turn navigation was launched:

If Google didn’t kill the standalone GPS market when they announced free navigation for the Android platform, Nokia may very well have just pushed the knife that last inch.