Navigon launches FreshMaps: three years quarterly map updates

German PND manufacturer Navigon is announcing today, a new service called FreshMaps which intend to protect its customers against map data obsolescence. For $79 in North America or €99 in Western Europe, Navigon customers will be able to update their maps every quarter during three years.

With this solution Navigon wants to position itself differently from the existing solutions available in the industry today. In one hand most of its competitors only offer a single update at a rather high cost. In the other hand TomTom Map Share offers continuous update via its user community but a large part of these updates has not been verified and a new map is nevertheless needed every year to continue to take advantage of Map Share.

So far PND users have been pretty much reluctant to buy map updates, mainly due to their high cost and the little price difference it made between buying a new map and buying a new device with new maps – at least for entry level products. Another reason is the complexity that is often linked with this purchase: connecting the PND to a PC, transferring the data, etc. Nowadays most of the manufacturers have simplified these processes but it might remain complex, especially for consumers that have chosen a PND because of the out of the box simplicity.

Navigon pricing model has some chance to succeed because it offers a good value for money: 12 downloads over a three year period is rather convincing. However, this kind of offer only makes sense for a consumer that has bought a mid range to high end product. Indeed it is pretty unlikely a consumer who bought a Navigon 2110 during the U.S. Black Friday sales for $99 to $139 is going to spend $79 for map update.

Tuesday, March 4th 2008

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