TomTom fights falling satnav sales with iPad app
Tiny, crippled nav-only fondleslabs not selling well
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. ®
TomTom don't give a stuff about their customers
I bought a TomTom Rider several years ago and subscribed to their traffic service. Updates downloaded through my SE P990i. I was a happy bunny. Then I changed phones. Suddenly, no more traffic updates as the satnav would only use the Bluetooth Dial Up Networking but the phone only supported the Personal Area Networking profile. TomTom blamed the phone manufacturers and suggested i buy their mobile app instead. They didn't have much of an answer when I pointed out that using a phone while riding a motorbike was illegal and why would I want to buy an app when I already owned a satnav?
Several years and another phone later, TomTom still do not support the PAN profile. If you look at the list of phones that are compatible with their Plus service, it's a trip down memory lane.
TomTom only have themselves to blame for their decline. They could offer firmware updates for older devices and maintain a revenue stream from subscription services, but they refuse to support existing customers. As phone technology moves on, the number of devices that a TomTom satnav can communicate with falls and their owners will find other solutions.
TomToms are great
TomTom PNDs are great, easily better than most phone based satnavs.. but by heck are those map updates expensive..
So they want back into smartphone market eh?
Tomtom screwed over smartphone owners favour of pumping out their own hardware.
We didn't want yet another bit of tech to lug round so went elsewhere. Now there are so many as good as.or even better free versions with always current maps thanks to data access being pretty standard for many people.
They shot themselves in the foot and they know it. The only hope back in as an app vender, which is how they started, is via Apple owners who will buy pretty much anything if on offer via itunes.
Android sales won't be good as we like our stuff free and untouched by Apple! ;)