Personal GPS a big hit among consumers

12 Mar 2008

The market for GPS devices shows no signs of slowing down driven by popularity among consumers in markets like the US and Asia Pacific.

Shipments of mobile GPS navigation device shipments grew nearly 150 percent year-on-year in the fourth quarter of 2007, according to figures from market research firm Canalys.

Chris Jones, Canalys principal analyst, said a big factor in the personal navigation devices remain popular in the US, partly driven by holiday sales promotions.

Vendors like Garmin, Magellan, Mio, Navigon and TomTom were selling products as low as $80, he noted.

"While it is good to get the volume, the problem this creates is it gives consumers the idea that satellite navigation need not be very expensive, and predictably, many price points have not sprung back to their pre-discount levels,' Jones said.

In the fourth quarter last year, Canalys estimates around 6.7 million devices were shipped in the US alone, a big jump from below 1.5 million a year before.

In Asia Pacific, Canalys said the top four GPS vendors - Garmin, TomTom, Magellan and Mio - accounted for less than 40 percent of the total market. Q4 2007 shipments grew nearly 140 percent year-on-year totaling around 1.7 million devices.

Rachel Lashford, Canalys manager for Asia Pacific, said: "While the PND is still the largest category in volume terms, portable media players and converged devices, such as smart phones, already represent more than 20 percent of the market.'

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