TomTom ONE 125 Full Review

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The new TomTom ONE 125 comes to the market at a time of intense competition and high expectations for the major GPS makers as they vie to marketshare and the attention of the millions of shoppers who are discovering the wonders of not getting lost and actually getting to where you want to go without stopping, backtracking or imagine that, asking for directions at a gas station. It also comes to market at a time when shoppers are starting to parade out to stores with cash in hand for holiday shopping.

TomTom ONE 125 vs. ONE 130

The TomTom ONE 125 brings a special edition that may or may not be around after the holiday push. The only difference between the TomTom ONE 130 and the TomTom ONE 125 is that the TomTom ONE 125 has US maps, and not the full North American maps like the TomTom ONE 130. Not a big sacrifice for people who may never venture north to Canada. I predict that it will be a big seller for Black Friday - If you want more info on Black Friday 2008 see all of the Black Friday GPS deals. The TomTom ONE 125 continues the slimmed down design with an ultra thin look, and an innovative mount, dubbed the EasyPort. Fold flat profile and a twist to adhere suction mount make the EasyPort different in the GPS world.

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November 17, 2008

TomTom New Maps Available v. 8.15

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Did you get the email? TomTom's new maps are available for purchase and include a lot of updates. With millions of changes a month coming into the mapper's headquarters, it is not surprising to see some of the changes below to their maps.

US only maps cost $79 for TomTom ONE's, while North American Maps cost $99 - $109.

More at TomTom's website

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November 14, 2008

TomTom GO 630 in Time for the Holidays

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TomTom has announced a new exclusive in the TomTom line up that has the new GO 630 sneaking in under the GO 730 with nearly identical feature sets. The GO 630 will be available exclusively at Radio Shack. The GO 630 has a lot going for it with its widescreen (4.3-inch), maps of North America, IQ Routes and Lane Guidance as well as Text to Speech (TTS), and the ability to record your own voice commands. This first appeared on the TomTom GO 720, and I thought that it was a pretty cool addition to the feature set.

IQ Routes - this is TomTom's technology for gathering travel history from the millions of users who agree to have their travel data aggregated when they sign into TomTom HOME on their computer allowing TomTom to see how fast people really can go on any particular road. This gives TOmTom insight into the impacts of traffic and other events that make travel time deviate from what would normally happen if you were doing the posted speed limit.

Lane Guidance - This is a technology that offers the ability to see what lane you should be in as you approach difficult intersections. The animation complete with normal looking street signs allows you to be a lot more confident in driving through difficult highway interchanges.

The TomTom GO 630 also has Bluetooth handsfree capabilities to pair up to your phone so that you can take phone calls over the GPS easily and hopefully more safely.

Available At Radio Shack at $399

More Information at TomTom

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November 10, 2008

Staples Pushes the TomTom ONE 125

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Staples issued their holiday gift guide today featuring the TomTom ONE 125, a derivative of the TomTom ONE 130; with maps of the US and not North America like the ONE 130/130S units. From Staples Holiday Gifts 2008 guide:

"The TomTom GPS features pre-installed maps of the U.S. on a 3.5" full color touchscreen. The system offers direct access to emergency numbers, as well as pre-installed 2+million points of interest, from gas stations to hotels. ($179.00) "

I was at Staples this weekend and saw the TomTom ONE 125 for sale right there in the front aisle along with a bunch of other items that they were pushing. The TomTom ONE 125 was featured in festive red box; although the box itself was empty, and you had to bring the box up to the customer service counter to get a real unit....my hunch is that this is a featured unit of the Black Friday festivities at Staples.

Update - 11/23: The TomTom ONE 125 is available for Black Friday Pricing Today At Amazon - the TomTom ONE 125

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

November 1, 2008

TomTom ONE 125 - Special Edition?

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UPDATE: See My Full Review on the TomTom ONE 125

TomTom is shipping a TomTom ONE 125 for the holidays that appears to have some slight modification that will allow stores to price slightly different than others offering the TomTom ONE 130. This unit only offers US maps, not all of North America like the TomTom ONE 130/130S.

TomTom did this last year with the TomTom ONE LE that was offered exclusively through BestBuy. This was a version with older hardware and a new software update - not a big difference and offered a good deal for a lot of shoppers.

We see the TomTom ONE 125 offered on Black Friday for $99 through several stores.

Also At Amazon - the TomTom ONE 125

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

October 15, 2008

Ads on your GPS - Driving the Future of GPS Capabilities?

Garmin recently announced that they are offering free traffic feeds to their Nuvi 755T, 765T, 775T and 785T units via small ads that come up every now and then. When using the Nuvi 755T for my Full Review, I found them unobtrusive, and a natural fit to what I was doing or where I was going; it got me thinking about where this will all lead. If you hadn't noticed, the stocks of Garmin and TomTom are down about 70% and 80% YTD, respectively indicating that the markets aren't convinced that these businesses have the growth ahead of them that we have seen in recent years, where 100% year over year profit growth was possible. With margins being where they are, GPS manufacturers may only be making $20 on each low end device, which is not a lot when you consider the work that they are doing to get such a device to the market. The idea of ad supported GPS units may offer the residual income that so many businesses seek with their offerings from Tivos to razors and satellite radios. What's the potential for GPS?

Ad Supported FM-based Traffic Feeds - Quick Ad, POI Listing

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These are here now, with the Garmin introductions. Previously costing users about $60+ a year Traffic feeds give you the ability to route around traffic problems is big. I have long thought that this is a huge need that is partially met by the current mix of data feeds and low bandwidth capabilities of the FM-based TMC network (or MSN network). Broad swaths of generalized traffic trends allow good GPS units to help figure out the big problem spots. Big step up from the guy in the traffic copter. The ads are small (shown right - an ad from the Nuvi 755T) and when tapped connect you to a Points of Interest list of those stores or locations - pretty basic, but it's a start. Basic ads gives you $60 a year in value.

Intelligent Ads with Unique Offers - Daily Use

With the launch of the Dash Express this year, two way connected GPS units starbuckslogoRT.jpgushered in the wave of higher bandwidth more intelligent data feeds. With better bandwidth and better interactivity, a more intelligent ad network can be had too. Can you imagine the confluence of a few data feeds to drive targeted marketing: 1) "Home" location and zip code, 2) Frequent search topics on the GPS, 3) Current location, 4) Time of Day, and 5) Travel habit profiling - daily commuter vs. business traveler. With this information fed back to ad servers, highly targeted offers can be made, and thus be more lucrative for the GPS make

  • If you ever search for a coffee shop in the afternoons while on the road, why wouldn't Starbucks send you an ad when you are within a less than mile of their store with a coupon code for $1 off your Venti?
  • If you are a business traveler, why wouldn't restaurants start pushing ads for dinner when it's later in the day knowing that you always look for a place to eat when you are on the road?
  • When Target knows that you drive to their parking lot every other week, why wouldn't they send the latest announcement to entice you back and keep you as a loyal shopper?

The possibilities are either endless or scary depending on your sentiment, but this is all dependent on a two way exchange of data between a highly intelligent GPS, and a data crunching server somewhere. For this you'll need connected GPS. Better, more targeted ads could possibly cover the current $120+ per year annual fee for this cellular connected service. While you are at it, throw in free Map Updates once this model matures. Advanced Targeting, rich ads = Higher Value Freebies like a connected subscription and free map updates.

Interface, Interface, Interface

Like the rule of real estate where location is king, the interface rules the GPS world, and only a couple of makers are currently up to the task. I am pretty sure that Garmin worked hard to make sure that their initial offering with the Nuvi 755T and its siblings was very well thought out made to be not at all polarizing. The next step of bringing richer, more obtrusive and more informational ads will bring new challenges. With the maturation of the Web, and the serving of its ads (Think Google here), the idea of data crunching and serving up relevant ads seems like a small hurdle, it's striking that balance between obnoxious and unseen. We all hate pop-up ads on a web page, but we won't swerve off the road trying to "X" out of them while sitting at our computer desk; these can't be the norm on a GPS device. Advertisers won't pay to be unseen either. The true art will be knowing the consumer and knowing how to subtly bump them while not interfering with the navigation experience.

There are a lot of possibilities for rewards if ads are done right, and the potential to save the GPS companies from this recent slide, but ads need to be expertly integrated into the interface so that they are seamless and relevant. If they are, consumer, and businesses will benefit through better services and better offerings. Looks like a lot of fun ahead; I can't wait to see the possibilities.

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

October 10, 2008

TomTom wins Garmin Awards?


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In some stroke of miscommunication and bad outcomes, TomTom has won the Garmin T3 Gadgets Awards for Gadget You Can't Live without from the Brit Gadget site T3. This stopped me in my tracks this morning as I read it and thought; huh? So it seems the Garmin is sponsoring the T3 gadget awards, specifically the Gadget of the Year category, but TomTom was voted by the generally Euro based readers as the Gadget you Can't do Without - specifically the TomTom GO 930.

Want to learn more about the TomTom GO 930 - check out my Full Review of the TomTom GO 930.

Check out the whole list of awards at T3

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

October 1, 2008

Sex and the City Star Lends Voice to TomTom Navigators

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Sex and the City star, Kim Cattrall has recorded voice commands that can be downloaded onto your awaiting TomTom to coo and offer a little more color to your commutes. Fans know her as Samantha on the show and will get treated to a few sayings that will make things a little more fun while driving.

Her voice and others can be bought ($12.95) and downloaded at TomTom's website

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

September 30, 2008

TomTom Map Subscription Service - Residual Income from PND's

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Making a bold move forward, TomTom is essentially launching a map subscription service with quarterly updates, it was announced today by TomTom and can be read about at GPSBusiness News. Like the Navigon FreshMaps service that offers quarterly updates with NAVTEQ data, TomTom is now starting to offer quarterly updates with its TeleAtlas data. (Humm, if TomTom is doing this, and Navigon is using NAVTEQ quarterly updates, then the barrier for Garmin may just be internal, and you've got to wonder that if this is a lucrative idea, they will bust it down and bring it to market too.)

Blades and Razors
If you follow the blades and razor approach that Gillette uses, you start thinking about the hardware as the entry point and the maps as the money maker. When you start to consider that these units are now starting to ship with ultra thin profit margins the idea of selling a map subscription may effectively double the profit per unit given enough time. Big opportunity to get residual income from your installed base too. That 3 year old TomTom ONE is dead to TomTom unless they can sell it maps, and maybe a map subscription at that.

Garmin is starting to use small ads on their devices that are delivered through the TMC data feed from NAVTEQ traffic. When I used the new Garmin Nuvi 755T, I thought the ads were a decent trade-off for the free traffic service that comes with the unit as a result.

I tell you, with the markets fast approaching saturation (in Europe at least), the GPS makers are going to have to strive for something to keep the business models afloat, and grabbing an income stream after the sale could be big when you have millions units out there.

Thanks Jim for sending this in.

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

September 26, 2008

TomTom ONE XL - $149 Hot Deal - Free Shipping

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Want a new (not refurbished) Widescreen GPS for $149? The well-known TomTom ONE XL is on sale for a pretty hot $149. The unit is being superseded by the TomTom ONEXL 330 these days, but it is still a reliable navigator. While it is a widescreen, it does not have Text to Speech.

At Amazon - TomTom ONE XL for $149

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

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