GPS phones threaten satnavs sales, says analyst
Analyst predicts GPS smartphone takeover
Shipments of satnave in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) fell between Q2 and Q3 this year. At the same time, shipments of smartphones with integrated GPS pick-ups more than doubled, according to market watcher Canalys. But it forgot to mention one thing...
Punters only buy satnavs for one thing: the devices' ability to steer you from one place to the next. People purchase smartphones because they boast all sorts of features, not just because there’s a GPS chip inside.
So although Canalys stated that Personal Navigation Device (PND) shipments in EMEA fell from 4.8m during Q2 to 4.3m in the following quarter, while GPS-equipped smartphone shipments rose from 4.7m to 10.4m during the same period, that doesn’t mean there's a link between one product category's decline and another's rise.
“With GPS being built into the majority of smartphones, and users increasingly being given maps on their phone by default, and multiple reasons to use them, the threat to PND vendors is rising quickly,” said Chris Jones, a Canalys VP.
But Register Hardware isn’t entirely convinced. Why else would you buy a PND unless you want to use it for navigation? The TomTom brigade have many benefits that GPS smartphones often don’t, such as a much larger screens, detailed mapping, voice guidance options and – of course – a Knight Rider design.
Conversely, smartphones offer all sorts of functions and the ability to get you from A to Z is just another feature on top of their ability to surf the web, play music, show video, take pictures, operate as a torch, record voice memos, send text messages, read and write email, and occasionally allow people to talk to each other.
.. no one has tried to use GPS on the Nokia N95. The longest cold start time I've ever experienced and it's only accurate to about 5 miles.
While GPS on a phone might be very handy to work out where you are when lost, or for geotagging a photo, I'd not rely on it for Sat Nav. When I did attempt to do so with the N95 it constantly kept switching between the motorway I was on and the A road about 50 metres to the left.
In comparison my TomTom 730 locks on really quickly and never decides I'm on a completely different road.
TT7 on HTC Touch Pro
I have an HTC Touch Pro with Tom Tom 7, in a powered cradle in my car, I have the phone connected to the car stereo to use as an MP3 player, oh and also to listen to BBC Radio London streamed over the net to my normal 12-mile commute in Austin TX, the TT7 Voice is just slightly louder than either MP3 or the Beeb and is great.
Yeah the screen is small, and yeah the whole thing isn't stuck to my windscreen/shield via an ugly sticker thing, but hey it works great and I can follow twitter via PockeTwit, get emails, I have my calendar, address book synced via CommonTime mNotes... uh, oooh, d'oh, I think I just arrived...
It does phone calls too some I'm told ;-) and yeah its Windows Mobile, but actually I think thats pretty good, the only downside is the horrible PC side Windows ActiveSync that keeps thinking its a different phone.
Everyone has a standalone satnav nowadays... so sales will drop as the market is prety much sturated... new maps.. well, within reason there is no need to update maps, yes roads come and go, but other than estate hell, road changes are something that a bit of common sense can usually overcome.. :)
sales of GPS phones is up as every new phone has a GPS built into it... I know of atleast a dozen friends that have GPS phones, only one uses it as a navigation aid - ME!!
gps phone sales up - actual gps useage on said device is minimal id say...