January 28, 2008

GPS Market Share Changes - Big Moves Through Discounting

According to NPD, market share of the GPS market moved around a bit in the last three months of the year. The same big names were there, but the percentages moved. Sure the big loser in share is Garmin - they had the market share to lose.

Unit Share Oct - Dec 2007

Garmin - 37%

TomTom - 27%

Magellan - 19%

Dollar Share Oct - Dec 2007

Garmin - 45%

TomTom - 24%

Magellan - 15%

So What?

Since Garmin's dollar share is higher than its unit share, that says that they held higher average prices across the holidays. TomTom with their low prices on the TomTom ONE ($129 - $149) had temporary price reductions to gain market share during the quarter. Pretty shrewd. Garmin on the other hand discounted steadily, but now can afford a lower priced option (the Nuvi 200) that is selling online for about $185. Clearly their fuller high end sold well also.

Magellan was in a similar place to TomTom, discounts and lower priced units going through the sales channel.

The big deal for TomTom is that once they have the consumers in their brand, they may just see their consumers trade up to more expensive devices down the road, as they stay competitive with new innovations and smart marketing.

In the end, the earnings are coming out later in February; we'll see how the strategies paid off in terms of near-term profits. Did the expanding market lead to better profits for all? Long-term, the market will just get more competitive and better prices for better units.... stay tuned.

From 2006 - the numbers were a little different...

Dollar Share Oct - Dec 2006

Garmin - 57%

TomTom - 15%

Magellan - 12%

Unit Share Oct - Dec 2006

Garmin - 51%

Magellan - 15%

TomTom - 14%

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

January 27, 2008

New Colorado-based Garmin RINO?

GarminColoradoRino.jpgFile this under total speculation and wishful thinking, but with the new Garmin Colorado handheld series hitting the store shelves, you have to hope that a new RINO upgrade will be coming that is based on the Colorado platform. The new Colorado has an improved interface, with a high resolution display for new better quality maps.

When I reviewed the RINO 530 CSx last year, I loved the functionality and thought that communicating with others in your party was great. Being aware of where you are and where others are, can make a big difference when enjoying the outdoors.

So if the Rino 530 CSx is based on the previous high end handheld, the GPSMap 60 CSx, why not have a RINO with the newest features available on the new Garmin high end handheld, the Colorado series?

My admittedly bad photo-shopping of the image will give you the general idea....

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January 26, 2008

Garmin Colorado - Now Available


The new Garmin Colorado 300, 400i, 400c, 400t are now available at various outlets, marking the step change in Garmin's line-up for handheld GPS models. The new Colorado series offers a big screen and the ability to see high resolution maps (including some beautiful shaded relief maps), share routes and waypoints wirelessly, and optionally add on cadence and heart rate monitors if you choose to use the unit as an uber-fitness model. I have used my Garmin eTrex Vista C as my bike computer for a long time; works great and get me a lot more usable information about my rides than regular bike computers. Avid hikers might like to add the heart rate monitor to collect more data as they hike through hills and mountains allowing them to chart elevation versus their heart rate.

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January 21, 2008

New Year's Resolution: Running with a Forerunner


With all of the new year's resolutions going on to get in shape, the Garmin Forerunner 305 is getting pretty popular. In fact it's one of the most popular GPS devices selling on Amazon. The Forerunner 305 offers an advanced design with a SiRF star III chipset inside to lock onto and hold onto satellites while running. The unit also comes with a heart rate monitor that can help you stay within specific conditioning zones. The unit easily downloads location, speed and heart rate information to your computer for record keeping and analysis. On top of this, you can also check out Garmin Connect, an online community that allows you to do further analysis and join the online community to share routes, and results.

With the recent announcement of the Garmin Forerunner 405, which has a more watch like look, the Garmin Forerunner 305 is selling at a pretty good price.

At Amazon - The Garmin Forerunner 305

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January 19, 2008

Nuvi 200W - $199 at Costco


Thought I would pass this along. Costco is selling the Nuvi 200W for $199 after a $50 price cut. Pretty good deal considering the Nuvi 200W is $224 on Amazon.

The Nuvi 200W is a good entry level widescreen unit that comes equipped with continental US maps, spoken directions (but not Text to Speech - it doesn't say street names), and an easy interface that makes using a GPS a breeze.

Check out my Full Review of the Nuvi 200W/250W.

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January 17, 2008

Garmin Online - Recent Moves

Garmin is slowly creating a bigger web presence with new GPS launches. All of this is a little interesting as the world of the GPS experience continues to move online and give Garmin a little slice of the online pie. It's not about the GPS for some of these it's about the GPS as the tool to enjoy a better experience or explore a bigger world. For some it's another revenue stream. Games on a GPS, and Garmin Connect give the GPS Giant a small stream that supplements the money that they earn on the device. With the GPS become the "Razor" and the ads, subscriptions and other revenue streams that area associated with the GPS become the "Blades"? Who knows.

  • "Where I Go" - Think of it as Geocaching on steroids, when you get to a location you get a little easter egg playing for you on your device, giving you a small treasure, or maybe directions to the next location; all a grown up version of Geocaching. See the Whereigo website.

  • - Games on a GPS! - With the launch of the Garmin Nuvi 5000, Garmin also launched Games for the GPS. "OK kids stop playing with the GPS and let daddy figure out the directions to the cabin" Only a few games are available now, but more should be coming. See Garmin.com/games or My GPS Games.

  • Garmin Connect - The reincarnation of MotionBased, the start-up site that helped thousands post runs and bike rides for others with GPS units to enjoy. Track your progress online and see the results. see the Garmin Connect page. There is also a place where you can swap your motorcycle rides too - Zumo Connect

  • Send to My GPS - On the New MSN Equipped Nuvi 760 and 860, you will be able to connect with Windows Live and send information to your GPS over the MSN Direct network. Depending on how the deals are structured, Garmin could be getting into ad supported websites giving them a nice little check from Ad Words or similar. What advertiser wouldn't want to target people who are cruising a website, searching for things like "Hotels near Chicago", "Fine Dining near Concert Hall XXXX"? Get eyebalss, drive revenue.

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  • January 15, 2008

    Bobcat Revealed - Waypoint and Track Management for the Mac


    Garmin announced that it has expanded its suite of Mac compatible applications to include waypoint, track, and route management. As with other Garmin applications, this new trip planning application is compatible with Mac OS X on Intel- and PPC-based Macs and may be used in conjunction with all Garmin USB devices. Maybe not as cool as a MacBook Air, but still good news for Mac folks.

    It's pretty good to see more and more applications coming for the Mac from Garmin. It was just 2 years ago when they announced that they were going to launch Mac compatible programs and devices. Since then we've seen a steady stream of news that they've converted one more application. It started with fitness based items first, and continues to the management of their main navigation device lines.

    Thanks to this new application, Mac users will now be able to transfer waypoints, tracks, and routes between their Mac and Garmin device and manage their data using Garmin's rich catalog of map products.

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    January 14, 2008

    Garmin to Work with Panasonic - OEM Navigation


    Garmin announced today that they will be working with Panasonic on projects to equip new cars with Panasonic navigations systems with "Garmin Inside" credentials. With the move to get more and more navigation systems on-board, it sounds like Panasonic is recognizing what I always say, it's easy to make a GPS system but it's hard to make a good GPS system.

    No news on who will take the new OEM effort, but they also added that they will also continue to work on their own products independently.

    Press Release Follows

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking

    January 12, 2008

    CES Round-Up - Where GPS is Going

    There is always a lot happening at CES, and this year is no different, but in looking at the models that came out of CES and where the GPS world has changed I think that it can boil it down to four things:

    1) Connected GPS - With Dash going pre-sale recently, TomTom launching TomTom HD in the Netherlands, and now Magellan getting on the connected bandwagon, there is a strong move to the connected GPS. Now it remains to be seen if the market will develop for a unit that is at the high end of the market in terms of price and comes with a monthly fee. See my post on Connected GPS: The Next Generation.

    2) BIGGER SCREENS - A lot of GPS makers must have been at the same focus group. While Garmin had the StreetPilot 7200 out a while ago with a 7 inch screen, these new units are coming out with a nice in-between size of 4.8 - 5.2 inches. Noticeably larger than the widescreen units on the market today. The Garmin Nuvi 5000 is the biggie in their line now. With all that screen real estate, I wonder how the battery life will be driving all of those beautiful pixels.

    3) Better traffic with Historical Average Speeds - the capability to jam down a database of historical average speeds onto a GPS has been there for a while now, but has not debuted. With the advent of higher bandwidth connections and Historical Average Speeds, traffic solutions will take a big jump; combine that with a connected GPS model where other drivers act as traffic probes, and you;ve got a step change over the TMC solution on the market today. Magellan Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS has Historical Average Speeds as a feature. Also Navteq announced that they are working with Intellinav to put historical average speeds on devices..... that's two makers with historical average speeds supplied by Navteq, the map maker for Garmin; their entry must be on the way.

    4) 3-D Mapping - Forgot to mention this in the original version, but three dimensional maps with renderings of buildings and terrain are coming to the US, and hopefully soon. TeleAtlas is collecting info on what buildings look like, and is including it in Maps of the US. NavnGo demo'd the capability at CES; they currently supply several GPS makers with software. They also use TeleAtlas maps. It is expected that true 3-D with renderings of buildings will make for an easier navigation experience through urban areas.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking

    Garmin Extends Deal with BMW

    Garmin announced that they are in a deal with BMW to add a navigator to the BMW line based on the Nuvi 360. I think that the design folks got involved when they weren't busy designing Starbucks Espresso machines, and sleeked this one up for the addition to the 1XX and 3XX series BMW cars. Recall they had a deal in the UK with BMW/Cooper Mini.

    Via Garmin Blog

    More after the jump...

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