Standalone GPS devices are a dying breed. Anyone with a half-way decent smartphone can get from point A to point B with a few taps of an onscreen keyboard and it’s abundantly clear that standalone devices will end up being the the province of old folks. That said, TomTom and Garmin are seeing roses and puppy dogs.
“In the summer period, we’ve seen quite a good development in demand,” TomTom Chief Executive Officer Harold Goddijn said in an interview at his Amsterdam office. “We’re becoming more optimistic.” He declined to forecast revenue for the portable navigation devices, or PND, industry next year.
Garmin also believes the personal navigation device isn’t dead but I point both companies to a little something that also started with P – the PDA. Palm and Compaq fought a valiant fight but in the end the smartphone took over and killed the PIM/PDA industry. Whoosh. Gone. Unless TomTom and Garmin go all software – and they are – they’re toast. The PND market isn’t going up. It will be flat to down next year and gone by the end of the decade.