Audi, BMW, Daimler officially buy Nokia Here maps in deal valued at $3.07B

Posted:
in General Discussion edited August 2015
Nokia has confirmed it will sell its Here maps division to German carmakers Audi, BMW, and Daimler, in a deal valued at 2.8 billion euros, or $3.07 billion.




Pending regulatory approval, the takeover should be completed in the first quarter of 2016, Re/code reported. Each buyer will receive an equal stake, and in a press release the companies promised that Here's technology will remain accessible to other parties. Although Google Maps may be the world's best-known mapping platform, Here is used by other high-tech firms like Amazon, Microsoft, and Samsung, as well as a number of major carmakers.

The deal is meant to "secure the long-term availability" of Here as an open platform, and will allow Here's management and operations to remain independent, the release claimed.

Companies like Baidu and Uber were at one point rumored as potential buyers, but appear to have given up weeks ago. Recently, rumors also pegged the Audi/BMW/Daimler bid at $2.71 billion.

The carmakers may be interested not just in current in-car navigation options but in paving the way for self-driving vehicles, without having to turn to platforms developed by the likes of Apple or Google.

Google's efforts at developing a self-driving car platform have been well-publicized. Apple is simply known to be working on some sort of automotive project codenamed Titan, which -- based on hires from companies like Chrysler, Tesla, and battery maker A123 -- is at least believed to involve an electric car. A 2020 deadline has been suggested though, by which time any Apple product might be competing with self-driving vehicles from other manufacturers.

Apple and BMW have been in
talks of their own, multiple reports have revealed. But it's been said that nothing has come from the talks yet, as BMW is apparently concerned about sharing its manufacturing expertise with Apple and becoming nothing more than a supplier.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 45
    ifij775ifij775 Posts: 470member
    It seems like car companies in some sense are transitioning to technology companies.
  • Reply 2 of 45
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,469member
    TomTom will be next. If I was a betting man, which I'm not, I'd wager they change hands by the end of the year.
  • Reply 3 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,325member
    gatorguy wrote: »
    TomTom will be next. If I was a betting man, which I'm not, I'd wager they change hands by the end of the year.

    I still say that it was a mistake on Apple's part not to buy this. Now, they're stuck with TomTom, which has been the source of all their mapping errors over the years. They keep saying that they want to own the basic technology they rely upon, but when it comes to something big, they aren't interested. It's a mistake they've made several times, and it's come back to haunt them.
  • Reply 4 of 45
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TheWhiteFalcon View Post

     

    And three point two billion dollars is not the right price. Beats may have been three billion, but they also have hardware revenues which will recoup that quickly. HERE is not a product that brings in direct profit, and Apple isn't going to sell more iPhones just because the built in Maps application improves.

     

    This is something you spend a few hundred million on at most, and even then, it might be cheaper to do it in house.


     

    I guess someone thought it was worth a bit more than a few hundred million.

  • Reply 5 of 45
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post





    I still say that it was a mistake on Apple's part not to buy this. Now, they're stuck with TomTom, which has been the source of all their mapping errors over the years. They keep saying that they want to own the basic technology they rely upon, but when it comes to something big, they aren't interested. It's a mistake they've made several times, and it's come back to haunt them.

    Same price as Beats. $3B for maps probably wouldn't be as controversial.

  • Reply 6 of 45
    evilutionevilution Posts: 1,398member

    The problem with buying a map company is the cost of keeping the data up to date.

    I doubt the Audi, BMW or Daimler will pay or bother to update it.

  • Reply 7 of 45
    jbdragonjbdragon Posts: 2,246member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post

     

    Same price as Beats. $3B for maps probably wouldn't be as controversial.


     

    Ya, I'd say the Maps would have made more sense for the price.  But now that Apple has Vans out driving around getting their own Map data all over the place, this will become a less and less, no big loss.   

     

    These car company's should depend on Apple and Google more for this stuff.  We need Carplay as the crap they have is just that.  

  • Reply 8 of 45
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

     

    The problem with buying a map company is the cost of keeping the data up to date.

    I doubt the Audi, BMW or Daimler will pay or bother to update it.




    Just plunder Open Streetmaps Mwahaha...

  • Reply 9 of 45
    uraharaurahara Posts: 674member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Evilution View Post

     

    The problem with buying a map company is the cost of keeping the data up to date.

    I doubt the Audi, BMW or Daimler will pay or bother to update it.




    There are systems which track the signs on roads.

    So if you extend the system, you could automatically feed the map-center with all updated information. 

    From all latest Audi, BMW, and Mercedes cars.

    The fleet for mapping could be bigger than Google has deployed. They just need to write the EULA correctly.

  • Reply 10 of 45
    melgrossmelgross Posts: 33,325member
    mstone wrote: »
    Same price as Beats. $3B for maps probably wouldn't be as controversial.

    When I think of all the things Apple could have done, but didn't, I feel ill.

    They could have bought this company in 2005, well before Nokia bought it. By then, Apple must have known they would have a mapping app. It went for something less than $3 billion when Nokia did buy it. Apple would never have needed to depend on Google for maps, and then on Tom Tom. And people need to remember that Google's mapping wasn't incredible back then.

    When Apple first began working on Siri, they had a chance to buy Nuance. Back then the company was worth around $4 billion, Apple could have bought it for $6 billion. Seems like a lot, but Apple depends on this for Siri. But then, so does Google and Microsoft. Neither could have come up with rivals to Siri without this. Yes, they could have started from scratch, but that alone would have taken years. They might not be ready yet, and it wouldn't be nearly as good. Another error on Apple's part.

    Apple could have bought Skype for under $3 billion when eBay decided to sell it. Apple was no doubt, working on FaceTime, and voice calling back then. This would have gotten them the biggest calling software in the world, and Microsoft would, again, have needed to develop it from scratch, and we know what that means.

    There are other smaller companies that Apple could have bought. They bought most advanced touch sensor company, but they could have bought the second as well. That would still leave several small, not nearly as advanced companies around. But this would have prevented Samsung from having a touch sensor this year, and likely would have made them wait for at least one year, and likely two, from the progress I see from those other smaller companies. Just a couple hundred million would have done it.

    I could list three or four more, but I'll just mention one that would have been world changing.

    Before Google decided to go public, they put themselves on sale for about $5 billion. At the time, they, and Apple were very close, and they asked Apple if they were interested, as usual, Apple said no. We can play the "what if" game here, but really, what if?
  • Reply 11 of 45
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 23,469member
    melgross wrote: »
    When I think of all the things Apple could have done, but didn't, I feel ill.

    They could have bought this company in 2005, well before Nokia bought it. By then, Apple must have known they would have a mapping app. It went for something less than $3 billion when Nokia did buy it. Apple would never have needed to depend on Google for maps, and then on Tom Tom. And people need to remember that Google's mapping wasn't incredible back then.

    When Apple first began working on Siri, they had a chance to buy Nuance. Back then the company was worth around $4 billion, Apple could have bought it for $6 billion. Seems like a lot, but Apple depends on this for Siri. But then, so does Google
    Nice post overall! Note tho that Google doesn't use Nuance. Never has AFAIK.
  • Reply 12 of 45
    sflagelsflagel Posts: 671member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by JBDragon View Post

     

     

    These car company's should depend on Apple and Google more for this stuff.  We need Carplay as the crap they have is just that.  


    For car companies, this was a cheap must-have buy. We all know that maps and communications software are at the core of next generation cars. To offer autonomous driving (or even sophisticated lane keeping and adaptive cruise control), I assume cars need to integrate acceleration, brakes, lights, steering, cameras, sonar, lasers, suspension, and transmission with highly sophisticated maps, and intra-car communications (the only way a car will ever safely switch lanes on a German Autobahn is if the car that is coming from behind at 250 km/h actually sends that information to the car that is about to change lanes).

     

    I doubt that these companies will allow Google or Apple to run this core functionality. At least not if they can help it.

     

    Besides, who is better equipped to have real-time map updates than car manufacturers? If Volkswagen put cameras and a laser on every new car it produces starting today, they would have over 5 million cars mapping the world by the time Christmas came around!

  • Reply 13 of 45
    monstrositymonstrosity Posts: 2,234member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post



    Apple could have bought Skype for under $3 billion when eBay decided to sell it. Apple was no doubt, working on FaceTime, and voice calling back then. This would have gotten them the biggest calling software in the world, and Microsoft would, again, have needed to develop it from scratch, and we know what that means.

     

     

    Thank god they didn't buy Skype. It's terrible. FaceTime hardly ever drops by comparison, and the quality of image is better.

  • Reply 14 of 45
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by monstrosity View Post

     

     

    Thank god they didn't buy Skype. It's terrible. FaceTime hardly ever drops by comparison, and the quality of image is better.




    That's funny, I have found Face Time drops frequently and Skype hardly at all.

  • Reply 15 of 45
    IDK how good Nokia Here maps/directions are compared to Google, OSM or even Apple Maps.

    I've tried the web versions of all (except none for Apple Maps) -- they're all pretty bad, with Google being the best of the lot.


    The supposed asset value of Here is the existing mapping/directions data and some Street View data (although not as extensive as Google Street View). I don't believe Here has any special IP or expertise.


    So, the $3 Billion is mostly for a perishable asset -- Here data.

    Unless this data is maintained at a significant, on-going cost -- the data will be worthless within 3-5 years.


    To my mind, Apple would gain little by acquiring Here -- just getting somewhat better data than they already have.

    I don't see any reason that Apple couldn't contract to use Here data as needed.


    I suspect Apple is on a path to flesh out Apple Maps -- prioritizing areas (countries, regions, cities) providing the most ROI. I think that indoor mapping is integral to Apple plans.



    [B][I]It is very Apple-like [COLOR=blue]not to pay a premium[/COLOR] for a technology they [COLOR=blue]already have or are in the process of implementing.[/I][/B]
    [/COLOR]

    I am reminded what Bill Atkinson said to my partner and me -- after Jobs, Hertzfeld, and a few others visited Amiga (Apple considered buying Amiga for their hardware).   Bill said:  "We can do all that in software".  *


    * Apparently they couldn't -- because they never did!
     
  • Reply 16 of 45
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by melgross View Post

     
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by mstone View Post



    Same price as Beats. $3B for maps probably wouldn't be as controversial.




    When I think of all the things Apple could have done, but didn't, I feel ill.



    They could have bought this company in 2005, well before Nokia bought it. By then, Apple must have known they would have a mapping app. It went for something less than $3 billion when Nokia did buy it. Apple would never have needed to depend on Google for maps, and then on Tom Tom. And people need to remember that Google's mapping wasn't incredible back then.



    When Apple first began working on Siri, they had a chance to buy Nuance. Back then the company was worth around $4 billion, Apple could have bought it for $6 billion. Seems like a lot, but Apple depends on this for Siri. But then, so does Google and Microsoft. Neither could have come up with rivals to Siri without this. Yes, they could have started from scratch, but that alone would have taken years. They might not be ready yet, and it wouldn't be nearly as good. Another error on Apple's part.



    Apple could have bought Skype for under $3 billion when eBay decided to sell it. Apple was no doubt, working on FaceTime, and voice calling back then. This would have gotten them the biggest calling software in the world, and Microsoft would, again, have needed to develop it from scratch, and we know what that means.



    There are other smaller companies that Apple could have bought. They bought most advanced touch sensor company, but they could have bought the second as well. That would still leave several small, not nearly as advanced companies around. But this would have prevented Samsung from having a touch sensor this year, and likely would have made them wait for at least one year, and likely two, from the progress I see from those other smaller companies. Just a couple hundred million would have done it.



    I could list three or four more, but I'll just mention one that would have been world changing.



    Before Google decided to go public, they put themselves on sale for about $5 billion. At the time, they, and Apple were very close, and they asked Apple if they were interested, as usual, Apple said no. We can play the "what if" game here, but really, what if?

    Interesting things to think about. As much as I like to think about history I enjoy thinking about alternate realities as well.

     

    Nice post you wrote there. Thanks.

  • Reply 17 of 45
    cnocbuicnocbui Posts: 3,613member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dick Applebaum View Post



    IDK how good Nokia Here maps/directions are compared to Google, OSM or even Apple Maps.



    I've tried the web versions of all (except none for Apple Maps) -- they're all pretty bad, with Google being the best of the lot.





    The supposed asset value of Here is the existing mapping/directions data and some Street View data (although not as extensive as Google Street View). I don't believe Here has any special IP or expertise.





    So, the $3 Billion is mostly for a perishable asset -- Here data.



    Unless this data is maintained at a significant, on-going cost -- the data will be worthless within 3-5 years.





    To my mind, Apple would gain little by acquiring Here -- just getting somewhat better data than they already have.



    I don't see any reason that Apple couldn't contract to use Here data as needed.





    I suspect Apple is on a path to flesh out Apple Maps -- prioritizing areas (countries, regions, cities) providing the most ROI. I think that indoor mapping is integral to Apple plans.







    It is very Apple-like not to pay a premium for a technology they already have or are in the process of implementing.





    I am reminded what Bill Atkinson said to my partner and me -- after Jobs, Hertzfeld, and a few others visited Amiga (Apple considered buying Amiga for their hardware).   Bill said:  "We can do all that in software".  *





    * Apparently they couldn't -- because they never did!

     



    Here Maps and directions I find to be quite superb.  The killer feature none of the others can touch is the entire ecosystem can function offline without the need for any data connection or phone signal, even for POI stuff.   The Maps, associated data and most of the POI stuff can be downloaded and saved on the phone as entire sets for countries, or if they are large, individual regions within.  With a data connection, the data is detailed down to the point of giving you floor plans of shopping centers/malls including the location and names of the shops contained within.  Same goes for airport terminals and College campus maps down to the location of departments.  You can even look in detail at an area while online via WiFi, go offline and the detailed data will be cached.

     

    Why do you consider the perishability of the data an issue for Here Maps and not Apple Maps?  Having to maintain the currency of data is a given, like buying petrol for a car.  It's not a negative, it's just in the nature of the beast.

     

    Somewhat better data?  Lol!

     

    You might have seen articles mentioning Apple plans to build a major data centre near Galway, here in Ireland.  Try finding the location mentioned - Lisheenkyle -  on Apple Maps.   Here is the difference between Here and Apple Maps:

     

     

    And that's with Apple Maps having a data connection and Here Maps offline.  Multiply that sort of difference worldwide.  Here Maps is worth its $3 Billion, Beats wasn't.

  • Reply 18 of 45
    cnocbui wrote: »
    IDK how good Nokia Here maps/directions are compared to Google, OSM or even Apple Maps.


    I've tried the web versions of all (except none for Apple Maps) -- they're all pretty bad, with Google being the best of the lot.



    The supposed asset value of Here is the existing mapping/directions data and some Street View data (although not as extensive as Google Street View). I don't believe Here has any special IP or expertise.



    So, the $3 Billion is mostly for a perishable asset -- Here data.

    ...
     
    Here Maps and directions I find to be quite superb.  The killer feature none of the others can touch is the entire ecosystem can function offline without the need for any data connection or phone signal, even for POI stuff.   The Maps, associated data and most of the POI stuff can be downloaded and saved on the phone as entire sets for countries, or if they are large, individual regions within.  With a data connection, the data is detailed down to the point of giving you floor plans of shopping centers/malls including the location and names of the shops contained within.  Same goes for airport terminals and College campus maps down to the location of departments.  You can even look in detail at an area while online via WiFi, go offline and the detailed data will be cached.

    Why do you consider the perishability of the data an issue for Here Maps and not Apple Maps?  Having to maintain the currency of data is a given, like buying petrol for a car.  It's not a negative, it's just in the nature of the beast.

    Somewhat better data?  Lol!

    You might have seen articles mentioning Apple plans to build a major data centre near Galway, here in Ireland.  Try finding the location mentioned - Lisheenkyle -  on Apple Maps.   Here is the difference between Here and Apple Maps:

    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="60169" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/60169/width/350/height/700/flags/LL" style="; width: 350px; height: 211px">
    <img alt="" class="lightbox-enabled" data-id="60170" data-type="61" src="http://forums.appleinsider.com/content/type/61/id/60170/width/350/height/700/flags/LL" style="; width: 350px; height: 583px">


    And that's with Apple Maps having a data connection and Here Maps offline.  Multiply that sort of difference worldwide.  Here Maps is worth its $3 Billion, Beats wasn't.

    I no longer drive, so I haven't used Here on a mobile device.

    I admit the offline capability is an advantage. The online detail you mention is one place that I believe Apple is implementing -- with a priority that will yield the most ROI to Apple (hardware sales, advertising sales, etc.)

    I did say, that I saw no reason that Apple couldn't contract Here data if needed.

    I didn't say perishability was not an issue for Apple Maps. Apparently the cost of continuous remapping was an issue for Nokia -- causing them to sell Here Maps at a significant loss after several years. It remains to be seen if the new owners are willing to spend what is needed to maintain the maps.


    I don't believe Apple thought Here maps was worth $3 Billion to Apple. The $3 Billion Beats deal provides Apple an entree into Expertise, Insider Connections, Access to Creatives, Hardware, Curation, Broadcasting/Streaming -- where they [appparently] see a significant business opportunity. It will take some time for that to be proven right or wrong.


    As I see it, Apple loses nothing by not acquiring Here -- and stands to gain quite a bit by acquiring Beats ...


    Timing is everything!
  • Reply 19 of 45
    mstonemstone Posts: 11,510member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by JBDragon View Post

     

     

    Ya, I'd say the Maps would have made more sense for the price.  But now that Apple has Vans out driving around getting their own Map data all over the place, this will become a less and less, no big loss.   

     

    These car company's should depend on Apple and Google more for this stuff.  We need Carplay as the crap they have is just that.  




    Often special tech platforms get bought just to keep it out of the hands of other companies. The German cars makers don't want to be held hostage by the likes of Google and Apple so they had to buy it.

     

    But CarPlay is like the Apple Watch. You need an iPhone for it to work. The auto companies can't require people to have a certain phone for their navigation to work. It is okay for it to work with CarPlay but I doubt they'll ever make a luxury car that doesn't have a stand alone nav system as well. Personally I don't like the idea of downloading map tiles over the cell network so for me the stand alone system is better in some ways. With cell connection you are using up your data plan and you have to take your phone out of your pocket and plug it in, otherwise you will kill your battery with all the wireless traffic.

     

    Maintenance for stand alone maps is an ongoing expense though because the data is only good for about 3 years, but that is how often I usually buy new cars anyway.

  • Reply 20 of 45

    I am not sure automakers are good stewards for a company like this!   

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