PND sales dwindling
Falling sales of personal navigation devices (PNDs) sees GPS manufacturers partnering car makers.
GNSS device makers are collaborating with vehicle manufacturers to provide in-car navigation as an alternative growth avenue, as the stand-alone satnav market continues to shrink.
ABI Research says that there is a 'major evolution' taking place in the in-car navigation scene - driven by dropping sales of PNDs and the growing use of smartphones for navigation.
It seems that car-makers are looking at various ways to bring connectivity and 'infotainment' - which includes navigation - to a larger proportion of the market.
As a result, factory-fitted, in-dash navigation systems are forecast to treble from 12.2 million in 2011, to over 30 million in 2017 - and these systems will include not only navigation, but a wealth of new services, features and analytics.
PND manufacturers such as Garmin and TomTom have recognised the shift in industry impetus and are looking to benefit from the growth of in-car navigation features.
But whilst demand for in-dash navigation systems rises, the opposite is true for standalone PNDs. ABI Research forecast that sales of standalone satnav systems in cars will have dropped to below 30 million in 2012 - for the first time in 4 years.
They attribute this decline also to competition from smartphones, explaining that the lack of innovation in PNDs means that, for the casual user, there is little to distinguish a free smartphone app from a PND.
But this is unlikely to result in the end of PNDs altogether. Worldwide emerging markets will sustain sales, and manufacturers point out that PNDs offer superior overall navigation than smartphones, which are limited by the screen size, battery life and data roaming charges.
Details from ZDNet below . .