Telenav launches connected PND in the U.S.

Telenav launches connected PND in the U.S.
Cell phone navigation provider TeleNav decided today to enter the PND market in the United States with TeleNav Shotgun, a two-way, Internet-connected GPS device. Available for purchase immediately in the United States from Telenav’s website, the Shotgun leverages the wireless network to provide real-time, connected features such as traffic alerts, local search (11 million listings), updated gas prices and weather data. The device cost $299 and includes three months of free connectivity. Additional wireless plans include a two year plan at $239 (equivalent to $9.96 per month) a one year subscription at $129 ($10.75 per month) and a monthly plan at $11.99.

“We’re leveraging our experience and success with connected cell phone GPS navigation to provide the best in connected PNDs,” said TeleNav CEO HP Jin. “Now we offer our customers both options. The wireless connectivity of TeleNav Shotgun means they get the same features and convenience that they’re familiar with in TeleNav GPS Navigator, with the added value of a larger screen.”

The consumer interest for both cell phone navigation and a PND has been highlighted by several market studies. “We have found, through several recent consumer surveys, that mobile handset navigation and PNDs may actually be complementary rather than competing,” commented David Chamberlain, principal wireless analyst with In-Stat. “More than 30 percent of consumers that we surveyed last year said they would consider buying both.”

Telenav launches connected PND in the U.S.
Telenav launches connected PND in the U.S.
“Send to” options
The shotgun has all features of a mid range PND such as a 4.3 inches screen and spoken street names. In addition to the wireless features on the device, users can also preplan trips, save addresses and manage accounts from the web. Customers can save locations in their ‘My Favorites’ folder, which will be automatically downloaded on their device next time they turn it on.

Additionally, TeleNav has a browser plug-in for Internet Explorer, Firefox and Google toolbars which provides users a way to send addresses to their Shotgun from any Web page. Users can simply highlight an address and click the TeleNav button on their toolbar. The address will be automatically added to My TeleNav for later use on their Shotgun device.

Shotgun’s traffic information is provided by INRIX and map data by Tele Atlas.

“Pro-sumer” target
With this PND Telenav clearly targets the “pro-sumer” market and particularly their existing clients who will find a device very similar to what they have on their cell phone but with a bigger, touch screen. However, if Telenav wants to really compete with other forthcoming connected devices in the retail space, it will mean serious investments in sales and marketing to get it on the shelves and promoted.

Monday, November 10th 2008

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