World News: ABI predicts explosive growth in real-time 2-way connected navigation

World News:  ABI predicts explosive growth in real-time 2-way connected navigation

Real-Time Two-Way (RTTW) connectivity opens a new dimension of service possibilities for navigation devices, says ABI Research.

Handset-based navigation, where the navigation processing is conducted off-board (not on the handset) is one form of RTTW connected navigation, and it will experience explosive growth. Off-board navigation will go from less than half a million users worldwide at the end of 2006 to more than seventy million at the end of 2012, according to ABI Research forecasts.

More than 62% of all navigation devices will feature RTTW connectivity by 2012, with nearly 170 million units shipping worldwide.

“The connected navigation market is currently very fluid, and there is a recognition that services are more important than devices as we move toward connected electronics and software as service business models,” says research director Mike Ippoliti. “This means that connectivity (most often cellular, though possibly WiMAX) will become a great differentiator. But not all players have the capability to shift to an ‘applications and services’ model.”

One driver of this market is the falling cost of GPS chipsets and their increasing use in mobile handsets.

The merger and acquisition activity surrounding map data providers is one indication of the trend toward RTTW connected navigation.

Dash Navigation is one of the current leaders in RTTW PNDs, with a device launch planned for early-2008. Even before Dash’s device is available in stores, the company is talking about being a service provider, not a device maker, with connectivity as a differentiator.

TomTom has also leapt into a leading position with the One XL HD Traffic, a consumer navigation PND that includes a GSM radio and receives advanced real-time traffic data through that connection (currently only in The Netherlands).

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