March 3, 2008

TomTom GO 730 & 930 - "IQ Routes" - Historical Average Speeds

TomTom announced today the launch of new TomTom GO units with what they are branding IQ Routes; or rather GPS Navigation units with a built in database of historical average speeds for roadways. This allows the unit to predict travel time based on what historical traffic patterns allow, not just the posted speed limits on the roads. Come on, we all know that the local highway around the city goes slower at Rush hour, and now this can accommodate that.

This development doesn't come as a surprise, at GPS Lodge, as we've been following the development in Historical Average Speeds for a while now. The pieces were in place; Inrix had the data, and then got together with TeleAtlas to bundle the map and speed data. It was only a matter of time before TomTom rolled with it. The big surprise is that TomTom is actually using traffic data that it collects anonymously from users, and not just a database from a third party vendor. All that driving around with a TomTom, and when you plug it into the computer and agree to share anonymously with TomTom, you are actually helping to build this traffic model.

TomTom makes the claim that it affects up to 75% of the routes driven; could this the data from the fleet of Beta Testers?

The new units also feature a Lane Guidance which will help you drive through complex situations, a feature that Navigon had to its own for a while, but seems like its something that is a big consumer need.

The TomTom GO 930 adds its Enhanced Positioning Technology capability to help guide you accurately when you hit tunnels and lose satellite contact, and it also comes with North American and European maps pre-installed.

Expect the new units come April. Prices at $449 - TomTom Go 730, and $499 for the TomTom Go 930.

Update: Now Shipping - At Amazon - TomTom GO 930 and TomTom GO 930T. Also the TomTom GO 730.

Press release follows....

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

March 1, 2008

EU Issues Objections in TomTom/TeleAtlas Deal


Apparently a speed bump has occurred on the pathway to buying TeleAtlas; TomTom has been notified according to news reports that the EU has some formal objections to the TomTom plan to purchase TeleAtlas. The objections don't mean that the deal is off, it just means that TomTom needs to come up with better remedies to the issues at hand. Who knows what those objections are, but the process sounds like it just switched into low gear.

Via Reuters

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

February 27, 2008

TomTom Earnings - Sales up, Prices Down

TomTom reported earnings and as you would expect out of a GPS maker riding the wave of a surging category the sales were way up; up 123% in unit sales year over year for the quarter, with sales up 33%. Not bad, as they retained a high market share in Europe - 49% in the fourth quarter and achieved a 27% share in the US. All wrapped up in this is a declining average sales price, resulting in a market share push.

While the sales are way up, the investment community got spooked on the reports that margins are getting squeezed as the prices are dropped. With those lower prices, TomTom is expecting to see the GPS market at 38 million units, up from 25 million units in 2007; a 50% growth rate. I'll bet a lot of industries would love to have a 50% growth rate......

They also recently mentioned that hey are having a press conference at CeBit this coming week where they will undoubtedly announce new models.


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

February 19, 2008

TomTom MapShare hits 1,000,000 Changes


TomTom's MapShare program has hit 1,000,000 changes to their maps set in from users of their devices. The launch last summer was a big step forward in distributed map fixes, as anyone with a newer TomTom is able to submit changes for consideration and then distribution to other users. The MapShare community has 15 Million members worldwide, and those people must be busy finding changes and sending them in. Of the 1,000,000 changes, about 2/3rds of them can be sent right back out to users, while the other 1/3rd is sent over for verification and then are sent out to users.

Press Release Follows...

Via Club TomTom

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

February 5, 2008

TomTom HD Traffic - France Deal


TomTom continues to add partnerships to increase the breadth of its new HD Radio based Traffic systems. It was just announced that they have struck a deal in France with the local #2 mobile phone service Vivendi. This makes the Netherlands, France and Germany as a list of countries where TomTom has deals to launch the new service that will send out more detailed traffic reports on more roads for a better overall traffic report. The plan is to also use anonymous cell phone data collect current conditions on more roads giving you a better overall view on traffic. Press release follows....

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

February 1, 2008

"No More Beta Testers Needed"

Don't know if TomTom needed one dozen or one thousand Beta Testers, but they don't need any more. According to Club TomTom, they've got a full set for now, and must be working on something good for the rest of us. Me? Nope, I am not one, so you won't be hearing anything top secret from me.

Via Club TomTom

Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (1) | 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%

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

January 23, 2008

TomTom to offer Gas Price Data from inrix

INRIX in partnership with TomTom today announced an agreement to provide INRIX traffic and fuel pricing services for TomTom portable navigation devices via TomTom PLUS in the US. TomTom previously announced this month its TomTom Fuel Prices Services, provided by OPIS via INRIX, and will be available in Q1 2008 for $14.95 per year for TomTom GO 920 and GO 920T users.

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Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (4) | social bookmarking

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 7, 2008

    TomTom Customer Service Receives Award


    Good news if you are a TomTom user, especially if you are one of the many thousands of new customers who might need a little help after getting a TomTom over the holidays. TomTom announced that it has been recognized for call center customer satisfaction excellence under the J.D. Power and Associates Certified Call Center Program. This distinction, the first of its kind in the portable GPS industry, acknowledges a strong commitment by TomTom's US call center operations to provide "An Outstanding Customer Service Experience". According to J.D. Power and Associates, TomTom has surpassed the rigorous standards of the certification process, exhibiting a solid commitment to customer satisfaction.

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    Scott Martin at Permalink | Comments (6) | social bookmarking

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