March 27, 2008

Magellan Maestro 4000 - $159/ Garmin Nuvi 200W $188

MagellanMaestro4000sm.jpg

Not a bad deal on an entry level widescreen unit from Magellan. I mean widescreen for $159?

What to you get?

The Maestro 4000, the unit has voice guided directions (Not text-to-speech), maps of the continental US, and 1.5 million POI. The Maestro 4000 comes with AAA TourBook information that I liked when I reviewed the Maestro 3140 last year. Read that full review for an idea of what I thought of the Maestro products.

at Amazon - The Magellan Maestro 4000

If you want a Garmin - the Nuvi 200W at Amazon $188 - No Text to Speech, Continental US Maps. The difference is that the Garmin has 5-6Million POI so looking for a local business will have a much higher success rate. The Garmin not have the AAA TourBook content, but has what I believe is an easier interface to use. See My Full Review - Nuvi 200W

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

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%

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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.

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January 10, 2008

More on the Magellan Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS

Maestro5340_Google_RT_Hi499x436.jpg
Magellan let a press release drop on the Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS and it includes some detail that was lacking in the mainstream previously. The big ideas at work here are the fact that the Maestro 5340 and 5430+GPRS are big-screened (5-inch), have a new interface that includes a “One-Touch” command to make for simpler interactions, integrated Historical Average Speeds for more intelligent routing when traffic slows speeds on the roadways, and in some areas 3-D buildings to offer a better view of what’s around you. When you add the GPRS connectivity over the mobile phone network you also add connected search and a way to get traffic alerts to complement your historical average speed database. The connected search will get you things like weather, and hopefully a gas price search around you, as I found that service on the Nuvi 680 a very helpful capability.

I am definitely looking forward to the next generation of connected units with the Historical Average speeds.

Press Release after the jump...

ArrowContinue reading: "More on the Magellan Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS"

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January 7, 2008

Magellan Maestro Elite 3270

Magellan introduced the Maestro Elite 3270, which features the first state-of-the-art, flat-panel touch-screen display in the portable vehicle navigation industry. This essentially eliminates the plastic frame around the GPS and makes for a sleek new look.

The compact 3.5-inch Maestro Elite 3270 unit features a seamless touch-panel that integrates the newest display technology for a highly responsive screen and an elegant, high-tech look. Even a light touch will instantly get users to the next screen with its high-sensitivity display. Magellan is the first GPS manufacturer to eliminate the plastic bezel housing common to portable navigation devices. The result is an edge-to-edge, completely flat touch display that gives the Maestro Elite 3270 a state-of-the-art, seamless surface with sensitivity and performance superior to anything else on the market today.

ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan Maestro Elite 3270"

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

Magellan RoadMates 1400, 1412, 1430 New Widescreens

magellanroadmate1400gps.jpg
Magellan is launching a new line of Roadmates that are sure to get a few looks. The 1400 series is a widescreen (4.3 inch) line that adds a stronger line-up at the low end with a base and then extended features as you climb up the line.

  • RoadMate 1400 - The unit starts with some base features we have seen in Magellan units like QuickSpell type ahead technology, a new menu, and NAVTEQ maps of the continental US, plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico, 1.3 Million POI, and has a list price of $299.

  • RoadMate 1412 - adds Maps for Canada and Alaska, Text to Speech, and has 6 million POI. List price of $349.

  • RoadMate 1430 - adds fully integrates traffic information through an integrated antenna in the plower plug!!! yes; nice move. List price $399.

    Press Release Follows.....

    ArrowContinue reading: "Magellan RoadMates 1400, 1412, 1430 New Widescreens"

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • Magellan RoadMates 1200, 1212, 1230 - New Std Screen GPS

    Magellan is launching a new line of Roadmates that are sure to get a few looks. The 1200 series is a standard screen (3.5-inch) line that adds a stronger line-up at the low end with a base and then extended features as you climb up the line. It parallels the Magellan 1400 series line-up which is the wider screen version of the 1200 series.

  • RoadMate 1200 - The unit starts with some base features we have seen in Magellan units like QuickSpell type ahead technology, a new menu, and NAVTEQ maps of the continental US, plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico, 1.3 Million POI, and has a list price of $229.

  • RoadMate 1212 - adds Maps for Canada and Alaska, Text to Speech, and has 6 million POI. List price of $299.

  • RoadMate 1230 - adds fully integrates traffic information through an integrated antenna in the plower plug!!! yes; nice move. List price $329.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (0) | social bookmarking
  • January 6, 2008

    Connected GPS Unit Roadmap - The Next Generation

    With the recent announcement of Magellan joining the ranks of connected GPS makers with their announcement of the Magellan Maestro Elite 5340 + GPRS, I thought it was time to take a step back and look at what's going on in the next generation of the GPS market and see how things are shaking out.


    There are four main benefits of having a connected GPS:
    1. Map Updates can be gathered from and sent down to the fleet of GPS units.
    2. Operating system updates can be sent down to the unit
    3. Traffic reporting is enhanced due primarily to the increased bandwidth and flexibility of the cellular network, and the fact that you are now a "traffic condition probe", collecting data for others to use.
    4. Connected search and interactivity of the unit to the internet to provide a more intelligent device.


    Where did it all start and what's the product map look like?

    ArrowContinue reading: "Connected GPS Unit Roadmap - The Next Generation"

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

    Magellan 5340 + GPRS - Connected GPS

    Maestro5340_Google_RT_Hi499x436.jpg

    Magellan is working with Google for their launch of a cellular networked (GPRS) GPS, that will be announced at CES 2008. The announcement is key and sets them up for taking part in the next generation of connected GPS units. This connectivity will allow you to search while on the road in databases other than the included listing of Points of Interest. Expect it to hit shelves in March.

    Dash navigation broke the news on this type of connected device over a year ago, and their unit is able to integrate with an online "My Dash" webpage where you are able to do certain searches, and send results to your GPS over the cellular network. While on the road, you are able to search Yahoo Local for results in typical search patterns (i.e. Sushi), and not just search for places by their business name. Magellan is expected to follow with their own web tool to send results to your GPS.

    No word on advanced traffic capabilities, but I fully expect them to have the advanced capabilities that Dash offers. In my mind this is the big reason Dash will be attractive. These capabilities include historical average speeds and a higher bandwidth for pumping down current traffic conditions including traffic flow data.


    Why would this traffic inclusion be significant?

    Dash is working with TeleAtlas, who is working with Inrix for their historical traffic data. However, Magellan works with NAVTEQ, who bought Traffic.com, and the inclusion of historical traffic data would signal to me that this capability is also open to the other key user of NAVTEQ maps; Garmin.

    Look for more news on Connected GPS in the coming days.

    Thanks Jim for sending this in.

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

    December 30, 2007

    Magellan Maestro 3200

    magellanmaestro3200.jpg

    The Magellan Maestro 3200 line is the slimming update to the Maestro 3100 line that has been out for a while. The most obvious change is the super thin, svelte look of the device that is certainly striking.

    The Magellan 3200 is the entry level unit in the line with a few nice features like its Quickspell capability to dim the keyboard letters that don't make sense as you are typing in words on the screen; definitely helps speed data entry when looking for an address.

    The Maestro 3200 has 1.3 million Points of Interest, which is on the light side of things, but workable. The unit comes preloaded with maps of the 48 US states, plus Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Unlike the 3210, the 3200 does not come with "AAA" information pre-loaded. The Maestro 3200 gives voice based turn by turn directions, but not Text-to-speech.

    At Amazon the Magellan Maestro 3200

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

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