Wayfinder shut down by Vodafone

With Google offering free turn-by-turn navigation for Android devices, and Nokia following suit with its Ovi Maps, the first victim to buckle under the pressure is Vodafone’s Wayfinder.

This news comes just 16 months after Vodafone spent a hefty $30 million to purchase Wayfinder.

In a phone call Anna Cloke, head of brand communication at Vodafone group services, said that the decision to close down the firm, which had been only recently purchased by Vodafone, was a financial one, and one bought about by changes in the marketplace.

“Vodafone has announced the proposed closure of its Wayfinder Systems AB subsidiary, headquartered in Malmo. The competitive environment for turn-by-turn navigation has changed significantly in the last six months as competitors have chosen to make this service free to customers”, she explained.

Cloke added that firms such as Nokia and Google are now offering comparable services for free, and that this had made Vodafone reconsider how sensible it was to support and develop its own tools and application. She said that the firm would continue to offer Wayfinder services for a transitionary period, and would retain a small number of its staff in order to do so, but would consider working with partners on a new, comparable option.

Via: Ubergizmo, The Inquirer.

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