Nokia, an Espoo, Finland-based maker of handsets, on Monday unveiled its first dedicated personal navigation device, dubbed the Nokia 330 Auto Navigation, and the GPS gadget will provide both spoken and visual directions via speakers or its 3.5-inch color touch screen, according to an Oct. 30 press release on Yahoo Finance.
Nokia 330 Auto Navigation will initially offer up only maps and direction for European locales, via NAVTEQ, a provider of digital map data for use with various GPS services, according to the release. It will also run the Navigate 7 application from ROUTE 66, a firm that focuses on mobile navigation solutions. It is expected to hit Europe in late 2006, and it will sell for about 360 euros (US$458), not including taxes.
“Consumers are increasingly eager to use personal navigation devices while driving and we are delighted to introduce the Nokia 330 Auto Navigation device to meet this demand,” said Razvan Olosu, vice president of multimedia enhancements at Nokia, in the release. “Nokia 330 Auto Navigation complements the recently announced GPS and navigation solutions from Nokia. Finding your way across Europe is simple with this comprehensive navigation package, including an integrated GPS receiver and European maps.”
The device goes to work as soon as a user enters a desired destination, and it also includes a quick address look-up to find additional locations, according to the release. It features a built-in GPS receiver to pick up map information from satellites, as well as a 2GB memory card to store the European maps and additional travel information—though not all European areas are completely mapped. Visual and audio preferences can be edited to suit the users, and the Nokia 330 Auto Navigation device also integrates with music and video players, as well as photo viewers, according to the release.
The device is not, however, a phone, according to Reuters.
The news comes at a time when more and more handset makers—as well as software bigwigs like Microsoft—are launching or bolstering their navigation offerings to capitalize on the rapidly growing market.
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