Following the release of a new version of its Ovi Maps, making the mapping and navigation software and service free on certain phones, Nokia has announced it has hit a milestone.

Nokia says over 1.4 million have downloaded the application across the world with China topping the list and Italy, the UK, Germany and Spain making up the rest of the top five countries.

The top five most popular Nokia devices installing the download have been the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic, Nokia N97 mini, Nokia N97, Nokia 5230 and Nokia E72.

Nokia announced at launch that there are currently around 83 million handsets Nokia has sold that are compatible with Ovi Maps, this works out as around 1.7% that could take Nokia up on the free GPS software offer.

"We're averaging a download a second, 24 hours a day", said Anssi Vanjoki, executive VP, Nokia. "When we announced free walk and drive navigation we knew it would be a game-changer. The number of people now using their Nokia for navigation, and as a result looking for more location-aware software, is growing faster than even we predicted".

Nokia says the milestone is great news for third party app developers as it means there's well over a million consumers out there "potentially hungry for new and innovative location-aware apps".

From next month, all new Nokia GPS-enabled smartphones will include the new version of Ovi Maps, pre-loaded with local country map data, with walk and drive navigation and access to Lonely Planet and Michelin travel guides.