TomTom: What Are We Going to Do in 2017?

By Carl Ford August 15, 2012

AT&T filed its intention for ‘End of Life’ for its 2G network by 2017. Twice has indentified the impact on Personal Navigation Devices (PND) such as Garmin and TomTom, which are sort of the last devices standing. 

Garmin no longer makes PNDs and services for the market with their Smartphone Link products. However, Garmin’s still a very active device company with items such as athletics and leisure travel solutions (planes, boats etc).

TomTom has an iPhone app specifically. (Note to Self: Barter TomTom DevCon5 pass to get them on the ClueTrain).

Jon Brodkin over at Ars Technica notes that this represents about 12 percent of the existing monthly subscribers.    AT&T cites the need to make the migration for them to free up the spectrum and to service the migration to LTE/HSPA. On the surface this looks like an easy transition; five years to move customers on two year plans sounds more than reasonable.

In reading the trades, it’s clear that navigation solutions are going through additional transitions.   Total sales for navigation systems have been on the decline and it may take solutions like JVC Mobile’s MirrorLink, an aftermarket car navigation system that is tightly integrated to Samsung’s Galaxy series, to manage the transition. 

Looking at the navigation market you get a sense that mobile devices can really change in form factor in the next five years. Watches, car adjuncts and a whole set of displays are found on these sites and makes me wonder what holds the transition back for new form factors.

In several of our telematics webinars we have learned that the sensors and aggregation can be accomplished with the phone or tablet in the dash, but it may be that the post market PND delivers a more efficient solution that services the market better.

On the apps side, I still find that the apps that cost money versus the free apps have yet to differentiate with a need I have personally. I would love to hear from people who needed to purchase an app.

I expect that by 2017, Marty Cooper will have his wish and we will see a transition to a broad spectrum of smartphone devices. Intel and Nokia presented some great concepts that we have yet to see implemented, it may be that PND has to lead the way as a service beyond the App Store to get these forms delivered. 

In the meantime the answer for most is to turn the corner with Google Maps. 

Want to learn more about M2M technologies? Don’t miss the M2M Evolution Conference, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct. 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at M2M Evolution Conference. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

Partner, Crossfire Media

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