DigitalAdvisor.com: Smart Phones Spell Doom for Garmin and TomTom

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The era of the Personal Navigation Device is over, and its biggest brands are on the brink of disaster, says GPS Review Site.

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.

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."

DigitalAdvisor is a site dedicated to providing unbiased, comprehensive information for shoppers looking for the right GPS device. The site provides hands-on reviews, product comparisons, and helpful guides so consumers can feel comfortable with their purchase and get the most from their new personal navigation solution.

Digital Advisor LLC, is a privately-owned company that runs http://digitaladvisor.com (DigitalAdvisor), http://digitalcamera-hq.com (Digital Camera HQ), http://digitalcamera-hq.com/camcorders/ (Camcorder HQ), and http://laptopadvisor.com (LaptopAdvisor), four online resources that offer unbiased information and recommendations for consumers making consumer electronics purchases. The sites combine the efforts of editors, owners, and professional reviewers around the web to give buyers a complete, unbiased review of each product. DigitalAdvisor LLC is based in Harvard Square, Cambridge, MA.

For more information, call 617-864-3100.

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David Parker
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