Global PND shipments will top out at 39 million units in 2009

Global PND shipments will top out at 39 million units in 2009

With the European PND market forecast to decline and the North American market remaining flat, Asia-Pacific remains the only growth market.

"While the economic downturn is definitely a major factor, it is not the only reason why the PND segment is struggling," says ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte. "The anticipated growth of connected PNDs has failed to materialise due to both a lack of compelling services and inadequate business models."

At the same time, handset-based navigation is gaining momentum boosted by a wave of high profile touchscreen GPS-smartphone launches, the central role of navigation and LBS in Nokia's OVI service strategy, and the growing availability of free ad-funded navigation in Europe.

However, ABI Research does expect PND shipment growth to resume in 2010, as the market for optimised dedicated navigation devices is still largely under-penetrated.

ABI says that innovative PND vendors such as TomTom, which have invested in connected navigation services, will finally reap the benefits, helped by a more mature wireless connectivity environment and declining price erosion.

In the longer-term, PNDs will face increasing competition from new form factors such as MIDs, portable media players and multi-purpose large-screen connected portable devices.

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