The personal navigation device (PND) market is under threat from the increasing proliferation of high end smartphones that are able to run navigation apps as just one of many functions. At least, that’s the premise put forward by many within the mobile industry. With players like Nokia and Google making turn by turn navigation readily available to smartphone users, are the days of the dedicated satnav truly numbered?
A project to provide Europe with more reliable satellite navigation technology is nearing fruition after the European Commission (EC) announced that the first two satellite-navigation spacecraft are ready for launch.
Microsoft seems to be on a roll at the moment, this week adding Canadian Blackberry maker Research In Motion to its lengthening list of partners. The deal announced this week makes Microsoft’s Bing the default search engine and mapping tool on Blackberry handsets, but the appearance of Steve Ballmer alongside RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis at the Blackberry World conference in Orlando, set tongues wagging.
Many years ago the Informer sat in a university lecture room doodling on his notepad. Back then this was an actual notepad, the whole concept of portable computers being nothing but a geek fantasy. After all, this was a time when you had to be accompanied by an IT student into their baffling department if you wanted to have a look at something they kept there called The Internet.
Competition is certainly warming up in the navigation space, with iPhone users finally getting a free turn by turn offering in the shape of Skobbler. In partnership with the OpenStreetMap community, Skobbler has made some waves in the market with its community-based approach to mapping and navigation.
One in the eye for Google on Monday as the world’s biggest handset vendor struck a global deal with Yahoo to collaborate on the delivery of email, instant messaging and maps and navigation services in the mobile space.
I had a note in from the team at free navigation service, Waze, to let me know that they’ve launched an early beta version of Waze for BlackBerry. If you haven’t come across Waze before, it’s a simply fantastic community mapping service that quite a lot of people are going nuts over. The service enables you to swiftly identify the best and most usable map routes — like a ‘path well trodden’ for the connected age.
Just over a year ago, monster carrier Vodafone showed just how serious it was about the navigation space, by spending €26m on the purchase of Swedish navigation and location-based services firm Wayfinder.
Location-based mobile social network Gypsii has teamed up with mapping and navigation firm Telmap to develop richer, location-enabled services.
Since making its Ovi Maps navigation service available free to the masses in late January, Finnish handset vendor Nokia has racked up 1.4 million downloads.
Finnish handset vendor Nokia revealed what it’s been up to with location and mapping firm Navteq which it bought in 2008 for $8.1bn. The monster handset vendor is shaking up the mobile space by making mapping and turn by turn navigation available for free to a potential 83 million users.
A proven success for the likes of Garmin and TomTom, navigation services are going mobile. Advances in handset form factor and functionality could enable the cellular industry to position the mobile phone as the heir to the SatNav kingdom.