Digital maps remain the cornerstone of navigation, LBS, and telematics services and solutions; however, more than a year after the eye-catching acquisitions of Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ by TomTom and Nokia, the hype about the role of digital maps is waning. In fact, the exorbitant amounts of money paid for Tele Atlas and NAVTEQ has cut deep into the profitability of both TomTom and Nokia. TomTom is already writing off more than $1 billion of its Tele Atlas asset as goodwill impairment, as the valuation of Tele Atlas at the time of the acquisition can no longer be sustained. At the same time, the expected returns of these acquisitions have been disappointing as PND sales are saturating, and a lot of the growth in next generation LBS services only offers limited map licensing revenue opportunities due to mounting price pressure from vendors offering free services. This ABI Research white paper describes the current state of the digital mapping industry and future business models.
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