TomTom Teams with HTC Phones

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TomTom is teaming up with HTC to offer navigation on HTC smartphones.

TomTom maps will come preloaded on some HTC phones creating a “zero-wait” for using navigation on the phones, said TomTom.

However, while the maps are free, if consumers want full turn by turn directions, they must purchase the option through “HTC Locations” or “HTC Sync.”

TomTom maps on HTC, called HTC Locations, will be available initially on the new HTC Desire HD and Desire Z in Europe and Asia with other countries to follow.

It should be noted that Android phones such as the HTC Desire already come with free turn by turn navigation from Google Maps.

TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn said on a conference call that HTC wanted its own location based service and “they liked our suite of services and it gives them independence.”

The HTC deal also gives TomTom access to the Chinese car OEM navigation market.

Today TomTom also revealed its calendar Q3 results.

It said that portable navigation device (PND) market size in North America fell 10 percent for calendar Q3 to 2.8 million units compared to 3.1 million for the quarter last year.

However, more consumers are now buying 4.3-inch and even 5-inch PNDs over 3.5-inch PNDs which TomTom says is good news as it helps differentiate the PND from smartphones. Also TomTom’s market share for the quarter grew to 25 percent from 20 percent.

Goddijn said, “There is role for PNDs for a long time…they are purpose fit, customers understand that, we see signs of second and third time buyers coming back to the market. Generally speaking, the levels of satisfaction are very high. So there’s a lot of evidence to suggest that PNDs and mobile phones can live next to each other for a long time to come.”

At the same time TomTom, said that is expanding rapidly into new areas including OEM automotive, and map licensing to smartphone makers as in the HTC deal.

Reuters said that TomTom is seen by analysts as a takeover target for Microsoft, Google or Samsung and that TomTom has turned down a few purchase offers.

Source: TomTom and Reuters
Photo: HTC Desire

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