Who Needs Nokia's Mapping Division Most?
Apple, Microsoft and Yahoo all utilise Nokia's Here mapping tools in some form, so that the news that the Finnish company has been hawking the division to Uber will have ears twitching amongst there management teams.
Now I don't for a moment believe that Nokia expects Uber to be a winning suitor, but as a stalking horse to raise the interest of the big players it's an entirely suitable tool.
Here makes most of its money from its contracts from car manufacturers, but that won't be an issue for any of the the three. It will be far more important to secure access to the map technology for its own devices than to make a profit in itself. Which is the main reason why Nokia is looking to offload, Here doesn't offer a long-term promise of prosperity.
In the short term though, Nokia may have an opportunity to cash in, possibly on a scale to compare with its Handset division sale to Microsoft.
The deciding factor will be how dependent Apple and Microsoft, in particular, are on Here Maps. Neither can afford to lose any ground to Google in this arena. Microsoft to keep Bing search competitive, Apple for its iOS devices. If either feels it must have the tech, Yahoo is going to find itself in a bad position.