PND Vendors Shifting Strategies to Deal with Competitive Pressures from Mobile Apps

08 Mar 2012

​Shifts in the product offerings by Personal Navigation Device (PND) vendors can be seen as a bid to prevail in a market that is expected to decline by over 40% by 2016.

PNDs are facing increasing pressures from mobile applications. “Most smartphones now come embedded with free navigation applications such as Google Maps,” says Lim Shiyang, research associate. “Although free, these navigation applications have started to match the performance of PNDs on a number of levels.”

One other advantage of smartphone applications stems from the fact that they can be connected to the cellular network and Internet. This fact became a catalyst which allowed developers to create much more sophisticated maps and navigational services.

“PND vendors are adjusting strategies to deal with slowing PND sales,” notes Dominique Bonte, group director, telematics and navigation. “TomTom, for example, is liaising with automotive insurance companies to provide individual driver statistics via PNDs for more accurate premium pricing for fleets while others, such as Garmin, are making inroads into mobile applications.”

The market can be seen moving away from mass market consumer goods to becoming low volume, high value as evidenced by the fact that now, nearly one-third of all products offered on the market are above the US$500 mark.

Nearly two-thirds of the devices currently offered in the market have screen sizes ranging from three to five inches, while the remaining devices have a screen size of up to a maximum of seven inches. Also, it was found out that Windows Embedded Compact is still the operating system of choice for personal navigation devices manufacturers, installed on nearly 45% of the devices currently offered on the market.

ABI Research’s study, “Aftermarket Navigation, Infotainment, and Telematics Product Tracker,” provides information on in-dash, portable, and handset-based navigation systems and solutions.  The information on each device includes hardware and software features, pricing, and regional availability.
It is part of the firm’s Location Platforms and Enablers Research Service.

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