Personal Navigation Devices to Exceed 100 Million Units by 2011

The consumer navigation market has seen unprecedented levels of activity and growth in 2007, mainly driven by PNDs (personal navigation devices) which offer a compelling mix of ease of use, features, portability, and affordability. As an established mass market CE category, PND markets will continue to grow strongly to reach a global sales volume of more than 100 million units by 2011. Dedicated PNDs will remain the preferred form factor for use in the car but will be complemented by handset-based systems for pedestrian navigation and new use cases such as outdoors. New form factors such as portable media players, ultra mobile PCs, Internet tablets and mobile Internet devices will also appear.

“Handset-based navigation will be stimulated by convergence trends and technological advances in low-cost GPS-receiver integration, and improved indoor coverage,” says ABI Research principal analyst Dominique Bonte. “Driven by the involvement of cellular carriers, off-board handset-based navigation will grow strongly in North America, reaching a sales volume of 21 million units by 2012. It will be a catalyst for the uptake of location-based services such as search, friend finder and tracking features.”

Europe is currently the leading navigation market, but strong growth is expected in developing countries such as China and India. By 2012 more navigation systems will ship in Asia-Pacific than in any other region.

The high levels of competition and price pressure will result in continued consolidation and vertical integration, as evidenced by the acquisition of the two main digital map providers, NAVTEQ and Tele Atlas. An important driver for consolidation is the need to aggregate user communities under strong brands to take advantage of the potential of user-generated map and POI (point of interest) content. Navigation vendors are looking to differentiate their offers by adding speech technology, multimedia features and 3D map content, and by targeting specific segments.

Connected navigation will become standard on handsets, PNDs and OEM systems as the availability of real-time traffic information and up-to-date map content becomes a key requirement. New opportunities for the use of traffic probe data will emerge.

Consumer Navigation Devices and Systems“, a new study from ABI Research, examines the major navigation features, trends, drivers and barriers, including a detailed SWOT analysis for each form factor. It describes the dynamics of the navigation ecosystem, and provides strategic recommendations for the main market players. The study also contains forecasts for shipments and revenue. It forms part of the Automotive Infotainment and Location Aware Services Research Services.

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