High-end GPS sales hitting the end of the road

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Review: VYE S41

GPS sales have been booming. Last January’s CES saw just about every manufacturer under the sun dumping out unit after unit, some with millions of points-of-interest and whatever else they can dream up to differentiate themselves in a crowded market. Alas, the party is over and everyone who wanted a GPS now has one, resulting in a slowdown in sales.

GPS devices are like 20-inch rims — you buy them once and pretty much ignore everything else out there until they break. Because they sit quietly in your car and, unlike dubs, don’t spin wildly at 90 mph, they tend not to break. And, like a, road atlas, the routes rarely change so… you don’t buy new GPS devices. Unlike kicking stereos, you rarely upgrade.

So now we’re seeing GPS device prices falling and commidity players like Navman and Mio dumping units on the market at lower-than-low prices. Once every mom in Anytown, USA has a GPS, the big guys like Garmin and TomTom are going to lose market share and the kids are just going to pull up Google maps. The result? Get out of the GPS market as soon as you can.

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