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Garmin tops mobile navigation market

Sales up 116%

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The mobile navigation device market has a new king with a new report revealing that Garmin is the top seller in the field.

Research from Canalys shows Garmin has claimed the top spot for the second quarter of 2007 after rival TomTom had led the way for the past two years. In total, 7.4 million mobile navigation devices were sold in the quarter, up 116 per cent on the same period last year.

Garmin shipped 1.85 million units to give it a narrow lead over TomTom which shipped 1.81 million units. Third-placed Mio Technology trailed on 683,500 units, followed by Magellan on 421,080 units and Navman on 232,780.

Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) accounted for 60 per cent of sales with the US share reaching a new high of 26 per cent. The growth of sales in EMEA was below the global average but still healthy on 82 per cent. By contrast, the US had an astounding quarter with sales rocketing 300 per cent compared to the same period last year.

Canalys said the growth in the US market was largely responsible for Garmin, which though founded in the Cayman Islands has its global headquarters in Kansas, claiming top spot. Magellan's dazzling performance, which saw it enjoy a year-on-year climb of 548 per cent worldwide, was also largely due to massive growth in the US where it became the number two vendor behind Garmin.

Canalys expects the massive growth the industry has enjoyed over the past year to continue for some time yet. "It is difficult to point to another part of the high-tech industry that is so dynamic and growing as fast as the navigation sector," said Chris Jones, Canalys vice president and principal analyst. "With the current market growth, the still huge untapped potential, rapid hardware and software development, and the number of players vying for a share, you can understand why there has been so much merger and acquisition activity and interest in this business recently."

The potential for development in the market is significant. Customer doubts over the reliability of the likes of global positioning systems (GPS) means the industry is still a long way from saturation point. The more the technology is refined, the more likely the market will be trust the devices' reliability.

© 2007 ENN

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