How does a company that sells a product make money when they’re made to compete against competing products that are offered for free? Well, they don’t. Companies in this position have two choices – change their business model, or get out of the business. For Vodafone, they’ve made the choice to exit stage left with Wayfinder tucked between its legs. Faced with insurmountable odds from Nokia and Google’s free GPS navigation services, Vodafone has decided to shutter its Wayfinder navigation division altogether.
Rather than swim against a torrential current of free turn-by-turn nav offerings from behemoth companies with unstoppable clout – you know, Google’s Google Maps Navigation and Nokia’s Ovi Maps – Vodafone has reportedly decided that they just can “not charge for something that others gave away for free.” The carrier, who was intent on cashing in on location-based services that it planned to integrate into its Wayfinder maps, is going to write off the acquisition and cut their losses.
The move has got to sting Voda’s bottom line, seeing as how Vodafone bought Wayfinder for a cool $30 million in 2008. Still, with the likes of Nokia and Google giving away their maps for free, Vodafone stood to potentially lose even more money had they decided to continue with this project. Now, the only question is, who else will fall victim to the free navigation services out there?