Mobile sat nav usage up

A navigation survey conducted by ABI Research has revealed that just as predicted, when Nokia and Google took the decision to deliver mapping for free, it hastened the invitable demise of the mass-market purpose-built sat nav industry.

The ABI survey “2010 Navigation Survey Highlights Comparison: 2009 and 2010 Results from US, UK, Germany, and France” reveals differences in navigation form-factor usage from 2009 to 2010 with a slow but sure swing to mobile devices running sat nav software. In 2009 and 2010 personal navigation devices (PNDs) are the most commonly-used type of navigation device, a significantly higher percentage of those in the United States report the use of mobile phones with navigation software in the car (24% in 2010 vs. 19% in 2009).

Telematics & navigation practice director Dominique Bonte comments: “The increase in the market share of handset-based navigation is driven by the availability of free solutions from Google and Nokia as well as rapidly decreasing pricing levels from other mobile navigation vendors. However, it is now clear that it will take more time than initially anticipated for handset-based navigation to make inroads into the PND’s dominant position. And with safety concerns and legislation expected to limit the use of portable devices in the car in the future, in-dash navigation might yet emerge as the winning third party, though potentially still powered by portable devices integrated into the car in hybrid configurations.”

Other findings from the survey include:

  • In both 2009 and 2010, higher percentages of those in Western Europe report the use of built-in in-dash navigation systems, compared to those in the US.
  • Speech recognition continues to gain momentum as navigation vendors are looking to differentiate their products and increase the value offered to users.
  • In both the United States and Western Europe, the percent of those who paid less than $200 for their PND increased from 2009 to 2010: from 40% to 58% in the US and from 49% to 54% in Europe.
  • In both 2009 and 2010, significantly higher percentages of those in Western Europe (48% in 2009 and 52% in 2010) have updated digital maps on their devices, compared to only 39% and 42%, respectively, of those in the US.
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