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Nokia Wants to Get Into Your Car

Finland’s Nokia has found another market it would like to dominate: in-car navigation systems. Today, the company launched the Nokia 330 Auto Navigation system in Europe, giving Dutch GPS maker TomTom a run for its money with integrated GPS receiver, preloaded European maps, spoken and visual directions, plus a 3.5-inch color LCD touch screen.

“Consumers are increasingly eager to use personal navigation devices while driving and we are delighted to introduce the Nokia 330 Auto Navigation device to meet this demand,” said Razvan Olosu, Nokia’s VP of Multimedia Enhancements. “Nokia 330 Auto Navigation complements the recently announced GPS and navigation solutions from Nokia. Finding your way across Europe is simple with this comprehensive navigation package, including an integrated GPS receiver and European maps.”

For directions and route planning, the Nokia 330 uses Navigate 7 from Route 66 and NAVTEQ map data—unlike the new Nokia N95 phone which uses maps from Tele Atlas. Users enter their destination, then follow the directions provided on the 3.5-inch touchscreen. The unit offers adjustable 2D/3D viewing, day and night modes, and full control of audio and language selection. The Nokia 330 also supports add-on memory—a 2GB memory card carries the European maps—and supports entertainment features including a photo viewer, video player, and music player. Strangely enough, the device does not function as a phone.

Nokia plans to ship the 300 in select European markets in the fourth quarter of 2006 for about €360 without taxes. There’s no word yet on whether Nokia plans to offer the technology in North America.