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TomTom fights falling satnav sales with iPad app

Tiny, crippled nav-only fondleslabs not selling well

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TomTom has released an app for Apple's iPad as sales of its flagship personal navigation devices (PNDs) continue to fall.

The Dutch firm already has an app on iPhone but said the new version, to be released in Autumn this year, would also be optimised for iPads.

"Now customers have one App for all iOS devices," Corinne Vigreux, managing director of TomTom, said at IFA Berlin, where the app was unveiled.

Generally poor consumer technology appetite, as well as the rise of free navigation tools on smartphones, have resulted in wilting PND sales for TomTom.

It expects the global PND market to decline by about 20 per cent in 2011, although its automotive and business units continue to compensate for falling revenues in consumer sales.

Despite its iPhones-only presence in the smartphone market, TomTom also claims its wireless segment is starting to make up for the lack of interest in satnavs as well. (Probably because you can get Star Wars voices on the app.)

"Year on year, we continue to see growth from our internet and wireless segment being offset by a decline in revenue in the PND segment," the company said when it announced Q2 results in July.

The company has promised that an app for Android is on its way, but has yet to give any timeline for the release, and has also said that it has no plans to release anything for Windows phones. ®

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