Nokia launches Android Here app, strikes exclusive deal with Samsung

|About: Nokia Corporation (NOK)|By:, SA News Editor

An Android version of Nokia's (NOK +2.3%) Here mapping/navigation app has launched in beta. The app will be available exclusively on Samsung phones, courtesy of a licensing deal with the smartphone giant. A Here app is also launching for Samsung's Tizen OS.

Google Maps (pre-installed on phones running Google's version of Android) accounts for the lion's share of Android maps usage. Samsung has made a number of attempts to lower its huge dependence on Google's apps/services, but that has often proven easier said than done.

Nokia launched an iOS version of Here in 2012 following the Apple Maps backlash, but pulled the app last year, citing iOS 7's UI changes. The app was initially quite popular, but later plummeted on App Store leaderboards.

Last week, Nokia announced Here division chief Michael Halbherr is leaving. Bloomberg reported his departure is due to a strategy disagreement over whether Here should continue going after consumers.