By Amy Gilroy
In navigation the U.S. market tends to follow the European market by about 18 months. So U.S. take note: smartphone use for navigation is up 68 percent over last year in Europe, according to comScore.
More than 21 million Europeans used their cellphones for navigation last year. The highest use was in the UK with an 86 percent increase to 5.7 million GPS-on-smartphone users.
And mobile phones are being used for full-fledged navigation, not just identifying a location on a map, said comScore senior analyst Alistair Hill. Also, navigation on a cellphone tends to be offered with premium services without a significant price tag. And mobile GPS has the “potential for integration with other location aware services, such as mobile social networking applications that provide links to friends and insights on surroundings and, subsequently, offer great promise for the location-based advertising market,” he said.
Both Garmin and TomTom said in February that smartphone-navigation has not yet had a significant impact on PND (portable navigation device) sales. PND sales declined in Europe in the fourth quarter while U.S. sales increased, said the companies. TomTom reported European PND sales fell 13 percent in the fourth quarter from 4.9 million to 4.3 million units.
Garmin stated in its fourth quarter report, ”We recognize that this is a competitive, maturing market segment and are therefore predicting flat to slightly declining revenues for the PND category in 2010.”
Source: comScore via TGDaily, Garmin, TomTom
Photo: Phones like the Google Nexus One deliver free TbT navigation