Technology | Media | Telecommunications

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Satnav In-Car Navigation on Mobile Phones

Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) are a very popular and fast-growing class of consumer electronic device, according to the latest study by Ovum.

However, smartphones with GPS are emerging as viable navigation devices too, and in some respects they can offer major advantages over PNDs.

Satnav-capable phones are currently selling around four times more quickly than PNDs. There is therefore a substantial addressable market for devices, products and services enabling mobile phone owners to use their phones as satnav devices, either as an alternative to a PND or as a complement to one.

Key findings of the Ovum report include:

- The total addressable market for in-car navigation on mobile phones is bigger than the total addressable market for PNDs, by somewhere between 15 percent and 25 percent.

- Several different types of player can act as the service provider for mobile phone navigation. Vendors of software and content have been driving the market most actively, and many market services direct to end users. However, it is very difficult for these players to address the mass market independently.

- Current conditions in the U.S. mobile market are especially favorable to satnav on phones, and mobile phone navigation has been marketed by regional and national carriers in the U.S. for around two years. At the end of 2007, we estimate that between 1.5 and 2 million people in the U.S. are either regular subscribers or fixed-term users of satnav on the mobile phone.

- North America will be the first region to see growth for mobile phone navigation services, followed by Europe and then Asia.