Well it seems that the free business model is starting to catchup with GPS companies now.  The email below just came to me via a friend.  This looks like it is in direct response to Nokia announcing that turn by turn will now be supplied free on their phones.  Ad the newly released Google phone (Nexus One) which also sports free turn by turn using google maps and the landscape for what was once a very premium product is changing… fast.

Can companies like TomTom hold out in a market that is moving to a free model?

I personally use a TomTom Go720. (Pictured)  However I don’t always carry it with me like my iPhone making it a redundant device if I decide to install TomTom for iPhone or a competitive app.  The question however remains why would I pay for it when I can get it for free.   Apple has some competition in the market now with the flow of Andriod based phones (Google phones) hitting the market.  I think within the next 12-24 months turn by turn GPS will just be expected just like a camera in a phone is today.

One company down lots to go.  Garmin, Telmap, Wayfinder, Navman, TomTom… be afraid be very afraid

==============================

Sent: Fri Jan 29 17:33:10 2010
Subject: Nav4All navigation shut down by Navteq

Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 28-01-2010 16:30 GMT+1

Subject: Nav4All navigation shut down by Navteq

Letter to 27,625,631 Nav4All navigation customers

Dear Customers,

It is with the deepest regret that we hereby notify you that the
global navigation of Nav4All and the Tracking & Tracing will go
offline in 3 days. The reason for the same is that the data licence
agreement with Navteq (a 100% Nokia subsidiary) was not extended, in
a totally unexpected manner. It is not possible to implement data
from another supplier in our Nav4All systems within the short term.
The Nav4All navigation system was developed for Navteq data. Nav4All
has therefore been constrained to stop.

We greatly regret the fact that we have to suspend the operation of
our service. With your help, we have developed Nav4All into a global
product with 27.5 million users in 56 languages, in 5 years. This has
made Nav4All the largest navigation supplier. This large number of
users also has to do with the fact that Nav4All works on hundreds of
different mobile telephones of many makes such as Blackberry, Sony
Ericsson, Samsung, Motorola, Android, HTC, Nokia, LG, Iphone, Ipod
etc.

After 5 years of testing and market development, we witnessed rapid –
in fact, exponential – growth during the last two years. That growth
was reported in the licence reports to Navteq. In mid-December 2009,
the global coverage was extended to include the Philippines, Morocco
and Kenya.

Please contact the Nav4All support desk in case you have any
questions: www.nav4all.com/support. If there is any further
information from Nav4All concerning the subject of this letter, the
same will be published on our website: www.nav4all.com. For reasons
of privacy, Nav4All does not have the email addresses of all its
customers, and we therefore request you to forward this email to the
maximum extent possible, in order to ensure that everyone is
informed.

Kind Regards,

Hennie J.M. Groot Koerkamp (CEO)

Nav4All BV

Keizersgracht 62-64

1015 CS Amsterdam NL

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