TomTom on the iPhone?

TomTom on the iPhone?
Reuters yesterday published a short article explaining that a TomTom spokesperson said the Dutch company already had developed a version of its navigation system for the iPhone. However, GPS Business News spoke today with Scott Johnston, responsible for public relations at TomTom and the sound bites were slightly different.

“We have not announced something specifically“, he said. “Our product focus is on the PND market even if we still have a solution for mobile phones. We think mobile phones are better suited for pedestrian navigation. We welcome the fact Apple is introducing a GPS version of the iPhone. The iPhone is using Google Maps with Tele Atlas map data; with Tele Atlas now a part of TomTom, this is indeed good news”.

Additionally he stated: “The launch of the iPhone does not affect anything we said regarding our mobile strategy”.

Why the iPhone?
In 2004 the Dutch company launched its mobile navigation software for smartphones: Symbian s60 and Windows Mobile, however developments in this area have stalled in the last two years. None of the latest software improvements (Map Share, Route IQ) have been made available to mobile phones and leading smartphones such as the Blackberry range are not supported. The only handset manufacturer carrying TomTom's software is HTC.

In the first quarter of 2008 PDA and Smartphone software generated a revenue of €5.28 million (2% of TomTom’s revenue) against €8.88 million(3% of TomTom’s revenue) in the same quarter last year.

Therefore the launch of a TomTom navigation software for the iPhone would be a surprise and certainly a turnaround in the current mobile strategy of the Dutch company.

Tuesday, June 10th 2008

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