Since Apple set Google adrift and developed Apple Maps as the standard iPhone and iPad mapping software from iOS 6 onwards, the mapping app market has been given a breath of fresh air as developers scramble to create better and better software to rival Apple Maps.

Nokia already powers maps run on Amazon tablets, Windows Phone devices, Yahho, Garmin sat-navs, Oracle services and around 80% of the built-in car sat-nav devices in the world.

The new Here Maps app will be free and will be available free on rival handsets like Apple iOS smartphone and tablets.

Money4Machines, a UK company offering sell for cash services on unwanted gadgets like iPhones, tablets and GPS devices, said the move is a clear and calculated attempt to expand Nokia’s furtive dominance in the mapping market.

"A lot of the people using Nokia software don’t necessarily realise the service is powered by the Finnish tech giant. Nokia’s spread in the maps market has been gradual and very effective. They’re in a superb position to publically bring out a free mapping app that appeals to users of rival handsets.

And as for the fact users won’t need to sell iPhone etc handsets and buy a Nokia device to access the software, well, that’s certainly something that appeals to our tech experts here in the office. It means it’s less likely you’ll have to sell mobile devices from a brand you love just to access software you love that’s only compatible with another handset."

Forecasters say Here Maps is a clear play by Nokia to extend its reach in the mapping software market. It’s thought extending the service to rival platforms under the brand of Here (rather than Nokia) could make the software more attractive to rivals looking to adopt new standard software.

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