Apparently HERE for Android will be initially exclusive to Samsung’s Galaxy smartphone line, and it will also be bringing a mini version of HERE to Samsung’s Tizen-based smartwatches, including the newly-announced Samsung Gear S.
HERE was the love child of Nokia’s Ovi mapping service and Navteq, which was another purchase from the former rubber boot maker. HERE is one of the main competitors to Google Maps and powers Yahoo Maps, Bing Maps, Amazon Maps, and Garmin GPS devices.
For those who came in late this deal has nothing to do with Microsoft, which only bought Nokia’s “Devices & Services” division. The remaining parts of the company deal with maps, cellular networking technology, and R&D.
But the move will take Samsung further away from the Google ecosystem. Nokia’s business model is to charge for access to the map data, which presumably is what Samsung is doing, plus a little more to get HERE for Android as an exclusive. However Samsung loses money for every user of its map app, while Google makes money from flogging its adverts.