Garmin has lost the buzz they needed to compete against Apple and Palm. Whenever the Nuviphone does come out, it's likely to be regarded as a massive flop, and could end up killing the brand when it was meant to save it.
Cambridge, MA (PRWEB) September 15, 2009
DigitalAdvisor GPS (http://www.digitaladvisor.com/gps/), an in-depth research site for GPS shoppers, today published an article detailing why the era of the personal navigation device is over and how the risky plans Garmin and TomTom have will not save them from extinction. The article shows why "consumers and investors alike should be wary" of these brands.
Garmin and TomTom have long ruled the market for personal navigation devices, but the proliferation of GPS-enabled smart phones like the Apple iPhone and the Palm Pre have sent them into panic mode. Fearful that the encroachment of smart phones may do to PNDs what they did to PDAs, both manufacturers have tried to adapt. Garmin is trying to compete with their own smart phone, the Garmin Nuviphone, while TomTom has all but conceded the handheld market and focused on making navigation software for existing smart phone platforms.
According to DigitalAdvisor Editor Mike Brady, neither strategy has much chance of staving off the inevitable. The Nuviphone, once seen as a bold step into the future for Garmin, has been deflated by delays and its major selling point--a cell phone with turn-by-turn GPS navigation--is no longer a novel or exciting concept. "In the two years since the announcement of the Nuviphone," says Editor Mike Brady, "Garmin has lost the buzz they needed to compete against Apple and Palm. Whenever the Nuviphone does come out, it's likely to be regarded as a massive flop, and could end up killing the brand when it was meant to save it."
TomTom's less risky strategy, while smart in the short-term, also has its drawbacks. "I expect the market for GPS software on smart phones to become very competitive," says Brady, "now that the biggest obstacle--providing hardware--has been eliminated. TomTom may find limited success selling their software now, but in the long term, it's likely that smaller, nimbler companies will release powerful navigation software at much more reasonable prices. That is great for consumers, but bad for TomTom."
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