PND vendors shifting strategies to compete with mobile apps

Shifts in the product offerings by Personal Navigation Device (PND) vendors can be seen as a bid to prevail in a market that is expected to decline by over 40% by 2016, says ABI Research.



Shifts in the product offerings by Personal Navigation Device (PND) vendors can be seen as a bid to prevail in a market that is expected to decline by over 40% by 2016, says ABI Research.


According to the research company, PNDs are facing increasing pressures from mobile applications.  “Most smartphones now come embedded with free navigation applications such as Google Maps,” says Lim Shiyang, ABI research (New York) associate. “Although free, these navigation applications have started to match the performance of PNDs on a number of levels.”


One other advantage of smartphone applications stems from the fact that they can be connected to the cellular network and Internet. This fact became a catalyst which allowed developers to create much more sophisticated maps and navigational services, according to the research firm.


“PND vendors are adjusting strategies to deal with slowing PND sales,” says Dominique Bonte, group director, telematics and navigation at ABI Research. “TomTom, for example, is liaising with automotive insurance companies to provide individual driver statistics via PNDs for more accurate premium pricing for fleets while others, such as Garmin, are making inroads into mobile applications.”


The market can be seen moving away from mass market consumer goods to becoming low volume, high value as evidenced by the fact that now, nearly one-third of all products offered on the market are above the $500 mark, say ABI Research.


Nearly two-thirds of the devices currently offered in the market have screen sizes ranging from three to five inches, while the remaining devices have a screen size of up to a maximum of seven inches, says ABI Research. Also, it was found out that Windows Embedded Compact is still the operating system of choice for personal navigation devices manufacturers, installed on nearly 45% of the devices currently offered on the market.