January 11, 2008

Forecast: Good Deals on GPS Units

Don't know if you happen to watch the stock markets, but Wednesday, Garmin had a rocky day as an Analyst downgraded their stock. At one point the Garmin stock was trading below $68 after closing the previous day around $80. Might not matter if you don't own their stock, but the reason for the downgrade is significant to all consumers.

Apparently this analyst was making their rounds at the CES 2008 show and in talking to the different companies, they got the feeling that TomTom was going to be aggressive in their pricing and markdowns this year to acquire market share, more so than Garmin. I am not going to get into a debate about the semantics of who will be more aggressive, but the bottom line is that the GPS market is getting more competitive, more brands are hitting the marketplace trying to differentiate themselves versus some strong competition, and setting a lower price is a way to get noticed.

  • Black Friday 2006 - Mio gets the Mio C310X offered at the then unheard of price of $149; exploding onto the US market as a result.

  • Black Friday 2007 - Navigon gets the Navigon 2100t offered for $99 with lifetime traffic; result is that they are claiming to be the fastest growing GPS brand in the US. Also, more directly to this issue, TomTom gets the TomTom ONE offered for $149 everywhere and less in some places; result is that demand outstrips supply - I understand that Amazon is still fulfilling orders from December.

    Pretty safe bet that the prices will continue to spiral down, and that fierce competition ahead will keep the bottom end of the market very volatile - in other words, better prices for me and you.

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | social bookmarking
  • January 8, 2008

    Nav N Go - 3D Navigation comes to the US

    Nav n Go, makers of the iGo software platform are bringing the 3-D experience to the US with their announcement at CES. The high quality 3-D views of buildings and terrain is now available to manufacturers to include in their devices. A lot of device manufacturers use the Nav n Go software, like Mio, although the future of that is a little clouded with their references to quality NavMan software in their recent announcement of merging the two brands.

    The software also come bundled with games and an MP3 player. The video below should give you an idea of the capabilities.

    Via Mobile Magazine

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

    December 14, 2007

    Mio C220 Trouble? – Install SD Card First!


    Mio wants people to know, especially the folks who recently bought the Mio C220, that you need to put the SD card in the unit for it to work. The Mio C220 has the maps on the SD Card, and it seems that not everyone knows to put the SD card in the unit before firing it up. No SD card means no working GPS.

    Mio Says:
    1. Before you power on your C220, insert the SD Card firmly into the slot on the right side of the device
    2. Once the SD card has been inserted into the device, power on your C220 by pressing and holding the power button for 10 seconds.

    For More information check out the Mio GPS Page on the SD Card for Mio C220

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    October 16, 2007

    Mio Digiwalker C728 – 7” Screen


    So you thought your 4.3-inch widescreen was big, how about this whopper. The Mio C728 has a huge 7-inch widescreen and the usual audio video capabilities. Should be nice to hang and watch your favorite movie, oh, and maybe navigate too. The unit comes with the super slim look of the recent Mio C520 units, and the split screen navigation that I really liked on the C520 (Read my Review of the C520).

    Nicely enough the Mio C728 also comes with build in TMC traffic, a nice addition to the package.

    No word on availability for the US. I check into it and get back with any updates.

    Thanks Mike for sending this one in.

    Via Navigadget

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

    October 1, 2007

    New Mio TV Ad

    Well, this is a heck of an ad for a GPS device. "Mio - There's always a way out" Don't know yet where this is airing, but it's pretty edgy if it's for the US.

    Thanks to Jack for sending this in.

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

    September 27, 2007

    Mio C720 with built-in Camera

    The Mio DigiWalker C720t combines the convenience of GPS technology with useful tools including a two-megapixel camera, real-time traffic updates, a 4.3-inch widescreen display, text-to-speech driving instructions and enhanced Bluetooth capabilities. Navman Introduced camera/GPS mash-ups a while ago, then they got acquired by Mio and Bam! You get the first Mio with a camera built in. The unit also takes advantage of the business card recognition allows you to take a picture of a business card and suck it right into a contact manager.

    The Mio C720t also comes with a TMC traffic cradle and a free 3-month subscription to traffic feeds; this is great. Since the form factor is the same as the Mio C320 and Mio C520, maybe the cradles will work on those too?

    More from the Press Release after the jump........

    ArrowContinue reading: "Mio C720 with built-in Camera"

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (2) | social bookmarking

    Mio C230 Officially Announced in US

    Mio Technology the Mio DigiWalker C230 for the US today. The unit has been talked about around the world, and has even shown up on a few websites for sale. The Mio C230 is a compact, affordable and easy-to-use GPS navigator that includes pre-loaded maps of the U.S. and real-time text-to-speech directions, allowing drivers to ‘navigate by ear’ from door-to-door.

    The big news has got to be the value price and the text-to-speech (TTS) features. The C230’s text-to-speech functionality delivers timely voice prompts, calling out actual street names when making turns – “right turn onto Main Street” instead of “right-turn in 500 yards” – helping drivers keep their eyes on the road while driving.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Mio C230 Officially Announced in US"

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

    September 24, 2007

    Mio C320 Full Review

    The Mio C320 is a widescreen GPS follow-up to their widescreen C520 model that hit the market earlier this year, and has already made a mark on the shelves brining widescreen affordability to the masses. The Mio C320 can be considered an entry model widescreen GPS that offers solid navigation on a widescreen unit without some of the features that are found on mid-tier models. You still get SiRF star III chipsets, a widescreen, maps of the US, as well as MP3 playback capability. The unit hits its price point by shedding the Bluetooth handsfree capability and the maps of Canada along with some POI data. It does maintain the split screen capability that the Mio C520 brought with it (See my review of the Mio C520), which is a user selectable option and one that I personally like.

    The Mio C320 was announced today, but I have had the opportunity to check it out ahead of the launch to put it through its paces over the last couple of weeks before the general public gets its hands on it. The unit I used was a full working model.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Mio C320 Full Review"

    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (17) | social bookmarking

    Mio C320 Announced

    Mio announced availability of the new Mio DigiWalker C320 portable GPS navigation device, exclusively offered at nearly 4,500 RadioShack stores nationwide and online at www.RadioShack.com. The unit is based on a Mio C520 that has the same chassis, and some similar features. The C320 boasts a prominent 4.3-inch widescreen anti-glare display and preloaded U.S. maps (including Alaska and Hawaii), allowing users to quickly and easily navigate to virtually any address in the U.S. with full voice-guided directions.

    The Mio C320 has an MSRP of $299.95. When moving up to the Mio C520 from the Mio C320 you add Bluetooth capabilities, Canadian Maps (along with a lot of Points of Interest), and Text-to-speech.

    I had the chance to check out the Mio C320 for the last few weeks ahead of this announcement, see my review that is also posted today.

    ArrowContinue reading: "Mio C320 Announced"

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

    September 6, 2007

    Mio has BIG Black Friday and Holiday Plans

    DigiTimes is reporting that Mitac, Navman and Mio’s parent company, has big plans for the second part of the year. They plan on shipping another 5 million GPS units in the second half of the year, after already shipping 2.75 million in the first half of the year; that’s a pretty big jump.

    Mio has already announced a slew of new units overseas for the end of the year (including the Mio 230, 620 and 620T), and we would expect that those units would find their way to US shores soon too. All in all, this adds up to another big blockbuster holiday GPS season if you ask me. I guess if you don’t plan big, you’ll never get there.

    More at DigiTimes

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

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