(By Balachander) Nokia Corp. (NYSE: NOK) announced the acquisition of U.S.-based 3D capture company earthmine and said it is launching a maps application for iOS under the HERE brand.
The Finnish company said earthmine's reality capture and processing technologies will become integral parts of HERE's 3D map making capabilities.
Financial terms of the acquisition of Berkeley, California-based earthmine were not disclosed.
The cellphone maker expects the deal to close by the end of 2012.
According to Nokia, HERE is the first location cloud to deliver the world's best maps and location experiences across multiple screens and operating systems.
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"People want great maps, and with HERE we can bring together Nokia's location offering to deliver people a better way to explore, discover and share their world," commented Nokia CEO Stephen Elop. "Additionally, with HERE we can extend our 20 years of location expertise to new devices and operating systems that reach beyond Nokia."
The maps application is scheduled to be available for free download from Apple's App Store in the coming weeks, Nokia said. Based on HTML5, the company said the app will include offline capabilities, voice-guided walk navigation, and public transport directions.
In addition, Nokia announced a new partnership with Mozilla to bring new location experiences to the Firefox OS.
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Nokia said it plans to launch a mobile Web version of HERE Maps for the new Firefox OS next year.
Further, Nokia announced plans for the availability of a HERE SDK for Android OEMs in early 2013, in a move enabling partners to create location-based applications for Android devices with Nokia's leading content.
The Finnish company , once a darling of investors in the technology space, is transforming itself to meet the demands of the market. Nokia is incurring significant market share losses in smartphones and feature phones. The company is finding it tough to cope with the likes of iPhone and other Android-based smartphones both in the U.S. and emerging markets.
As part of its transformation strategy, Nokia also disclosed plans to sell its non-core assets.
U.S.-listed shares of Nokia lost 1.66 percent to trade at $2.66 on Tuesday.