Personal navigation devices dip to 28 million units in 2012

Telecom Lead India: Shipments of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) declined from 33 million units in 2011 to 28 million units in 2012.

Facts such as lower consumer spending in Europe and the high installed base of PNDs, especially in mature markets, have affected the growth.

Berg Insight says retailers have reduced shelf space and marketing for PNDs in favour of higher margin consumer electronics products.

Competition from other navigation solutions, notably navigation apps for smartphones is furthermore growing.

PNDs will also start to face more competition from factory installed in-dash navigation systems as more car brands launch next generation low cost systems.

The global PND shipments will decline to about 17 million units in 2017.

Shipments of PNDs are still growing in markets such as Eastern Europe, South America and India, but not fast enough to compensate for the decline in mature markets.

Higher smartphone adoption and broader availability of attractively priced services are key factors for growing usage of mobile navigation apps.

“The number of mobile subscribers worldwide using a turn-by-turn navigation app on their handset at least once per month grew from 105 million in 2011 to 150 million in 2012,” said André Malm, senior analyst, Berg Insight.

More than half of the current active navigation subscriber base uses free apps that are bundled with handsets or service plans from mobile operators.

In most developed markets, smartphones from major vendors now come bundled with free navigation apps. Google and Nokia were the first to launch free navigation and have later been followed by Apple and BlackBerry. In response to the proliferation of free navigation apps, many mobile operators have switched to bundled freemium navigation services to offset the cost for end users.

App developers and operators are now trying to monetise services by introducing advertising and premium features. Users can customise their app to suit their personal preferences by purchasing new features and content add-ons.

Complementing core navigation with features including traffic information, speed camera alerts, parking space information, local search and local offers can make navigation apps useful on a daily basis for more potential customers.


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