Personal navigation device shipments decline to 33 million units in 2011 due to competition from navigation apps

By Telecom
Lead Team:
Global shipments of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs)
declined to about 33 million units in 2011.
Broad availability of GPS
handsets and attractive pricing are key factors for widespread adoption of
mobile navigation apps.


In mature markets where the
installed base of PNDs is already high, the device category is facing
increasing competition from smartphones and low-cost in-dash navigation systems.


Aftermarket navigation
systems will be the largest segment for several years to come and many
customers, especially in Europe and North America, are likely to use more than
one navigation capable device for different occasions in the future.


Growing shipments of PNDs in
markets such as Brazil, China, India and Russia are not likely to compensate
for the decline in Europe and North America.


Global PND shipments are
likely to decline to about 23 million units in 2016. The number of mobile
subscribers using a turn-by-turn navigation app or service on their handset
doubled in 2011 and reached 130 million worldwide.


The subscriber base is
expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.9 percent to
reach 340 million users worldwide in 2016, according to analyst firm Berg

The global active installed base of smartphones surpassed 700 million
units at the 2011, which is approximately 15 percent of all mobile phones in

About half of the current mobile navigation subscriber base uses free
apps and services that are bundled with handsets or service plans from mobile
operators. A number of mobile operators worldwide are switching to bundled
freemium navigation services to offset the cost for end users in response to
free navigation apps for smartphones from Google and Nokia.

Navigation app developers and mobile operators are trying to monetise
services by introducing premium feature and content add-ons that allow users to
customise navigation apps to suit their personal needs.

“Since relatively few users need turn-by-turn guidance on a daily
basis, complementary features such as traffic information, speed camera alerts,
parking space information and local search become increasingly important means
to drive usage,” said Andr Malm, senior analyst, Berg Insight.

Stimulating usage is also important for developers and mobile operators
that seek additional revenues from location-based advertising and local offers.

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