MapQuest’s Mobile Strategy
You’ll recall that it was previously reported that MapQuest was responding to the challenge posed by Google, Microsoft and Yahoo! by moving in an altogether different direction: instead of a hackable API, satellite imagery and web interface innovations (although an API did show up last month), it was going to focus on expanding its reach away from the computer: to paper maps and mobile devices.
This week we saw a bit more of that mobile strategy, as MapQuest made two announcements related to mobile phones. First, MapQuest Navigator, which makes use of certain phones’ built-in GPS to provide maps and spoken turn-by-turn directions. Not yet released; pricing to be determined by the carriers (but MapQuest is hoping for something like $4/month). Second, a more traditional WAP-based interface, for phones with built-in web browsing, was also announced; it’s free (except, of course, for what your carrier charges you).