World News: Mobile nav device market up 116% in Q2

World News:  Mobile nav device market up 116% in Q2

The global market for integrated on-board mobile GPS navigation device more than doubled in the second quarter, with 7.4 million devices shipped.

According to analyst firm Canalys, 90% of these devices were PNDs, and 6% were converged devices (e.g. smartphones).

The US share of the market rose to 26%, EMEA accounted for 60%.

Europe still represents the majority of device shipments, with a healthy growth of 82% over the prior year period. But rapid year-on-year growth of almost 300% in the US means that European vendors are now starting to feel the impact of competition from North America.

For the first time in two years, Garmin shunted TomTom out of the number one spot.

With a recorded 164.8% growth, Garmin shipped 1.85 million units in the second quarter, and claimed 24.9% of the market. TomTom shipped 1.81 million units (up 117.8%) and claimed 24.3% of the market.

But the highest growth rate was recorded by Magellan, with 548.3% – attributed to massive growth in the US.

“It is difficult to point to another part of the hi-tech industry that is so dynamic and growing as fast as the navigation sector,” said Chris Jones, Canalys vice president & principal analyst. “With the current market growth, the still huge untapped potential, rapid hardware and software development, and the number of players vying for a share, you can understand why there has been so much merger and acquisition activity and interest in this business recently.”

While converged devices, such as Nokia’s smartphones, currently represent only 6% of mobile navigation device shipments, they do have the potential to disrupt the market for the PND vendors who currently account for 90% of the unit volume.

PND vendors are moving into connected devices, which brings lots of challenges around channels and overcoming users’ reluctance to subscribe to data services. There is likely to be more convergence between the mobile phone and navigation industries over the coming year.

“If you look at the stir Apple created in the mobile phone business with the iPhone, it is not hard to imagine a leading brand trying something similar in the navigation/phone crossover space, with a new approach in design and user interface,” said Jones. “The fact that the US market is taking off and the volumes are becoming substantial means that more companies are sitting up and looking at the opportunities.”

Many European mobile operators have been dragging their heels on the development of location-based services and navigation propositions. Canalys expects that, as more mobile handset vendors become heavily involved in the GPS navigation market and PND vendors start to realise the benefits of connected devices, operators will lose even more control.

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