ALK: “There is a Lot of Appetite for on-Board Navigation on Android”

ALK: “There is a Lot of Appetite for on-Board Navigation on Android”
One year after the launch of their first mobile application on the App store, GPS Business News interviewed with David Quin, marketing director for ALK, the maker of the turn-by-turn navigation application, Copilot Live.

GPS Business News: You have recently announced a new traffic service for the iPhone in the U.S., so let me ask you the expected question here: how is this iPhone business doing?
David Quin: It is doing well. I cannot give you more information about numbers at this stage – we like round numbers, so we might have something to announce at that level in a few months. However, let me tell you this year was good, we are overall satisfied.

We are also very satisfied about introducing “Active Traffic”, our real-time traffic service that comes as an option to our U.S. app. We found the INRIX flow data to be very good in the U.S., so the add-on, in-app purchase offers a lot of value to our customers. With this type of traffic information it is continuously updating the ETA as you drive on a freeway. It really brings a new dimension to turn-by-turn navigation.

GPS BN: And what about real-time traffic in Europe?
DQ: So far we provide incident data based on a partnership with Arc Transistance.

GPS BN: Let’s talk a bit about Android too. What is your perception after the launch of the free Google Maps Navigation?
DQ: We are following closely what is going on with Android and to be honest we still see a lot of sales, a lot of appetite for on-board navigation, an appetite for full featured premium navigation software on Android.

There are many reasons for that. One is that we are on-board, against off-board for Google. This is a huge advantage if you are roaming or out of network connection. But let’s not forget also that wireless operators have capped data consumption so you cannot stream music or navigation indefinitely. For example I am on Vodafone UK and my data is capped at 500 Mb per month. So off-board navigation might cost you even if you do not roam in other countries.

ALK: “There is a Lot of Appetite for on-Board Navigation on Android”
But there is even more than that: speed limits, lane arrows, sign posts, etc. are all very rich attributes that offer good differentiation for us against Google. Besides that a €20 price tag is not a huge investment.

Android is also going to be an interesting OS on the tablet market where we can also bring interesting user interface like we currently do on the iPad.

GPS BN: How big is Android compared to the iPhone in your business?
DQ: It depends from one month to another, but usually Android is around 15 to 20 percent of what we do with the Apple App store.

GPS BN: How do you market these apps on these app stores?
DQ: Before the app stores we used to leverage the marketing power of our partners. Now we have transformed our marketing efforts into a direct to consumer approach. The most important element is what we broadly call social media: Twitter, Facebook, Blogs, etc…

What has changed is the amount of feedback from customers, we get huge amount of feedback. That really has changed a lot within the last 18 months. PR is also a good tool to engage with tech bloggers, we do a lot of that too.


Monday, September 6th 2010

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