Nokia Could Sell HERE Maps-Unit To Apple Inc. [REPORT]

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Nokia Could Sell HERE Maps-Unit To Apple Inc. [REPORT]
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Apple may get interested in acquiring Nokia’s HERE Maps division as Nokia is targeting the iPhone maker and other potential buyers to sell it, according to a report from Bloomberg. HERE is a good navigational tool from Nokia, but when compared to the likes of Google Maps, it largely lags in popularity.

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Why Apple could be interested in HERE

Apple Maps have underperformed on multiple occasions and cannot be said to be the best mapping app for now. There are possibilities that the company could upgrade its Maps app after acquiring the technology and assets of the HERE Maps division, but nothing could be said with certainty. As of now, there have been no comments from either of the companies on the report.

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Apple is not the only one Nokia is considering as a potential buyer of its HERE division. Other companies in its list are Alibaba, Amazon, Facebook, Baidu, Sirius XM and Harman International Industries, claims the report. Further, Nokia is considering German automakers and private equity firms.

The report read that the Finnish company is expecting $3.2 billion in exchange for its HERE division. If true, it will be a considerable drop from the original value when Nokia bought it for $8.1 billion in 2008. Even though $4.9 billion is in itself a huge loss, factoring in the cost of inflation, that number is even bigger.

Nokia to streamline its focus

Nokia wants to do away with the mapping unit to focus on mobile network equipment and services and level the competition against Huawei Technologies. Last week, the company said it has agreed to buy Alcatel-Lucent for 15.6 billion euros to create the world’s largest supplier of equipment for fueling mobile phone networks.

Apart from Apple, Nokia’s HERE division might be an interesting option for companies such as Sirius, the world’s largest satellite radio provider, which is looking to add its offerings to connect automobiles to the Internet. Alibaba is yet another company that might be interested and also happens to be the largest Chinese e-commerce retailer. The company is working on enhancing its portfolio to offer product and services to users. Citing sources, the report revealed that private-equity firms Silver Lake Management, Hellman & Friedman, Apax Partners and General Atlantic may also bid.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at amanjain@valuewalk.com
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