TomTom debuts iPhone App amidst competition

price war raging for navigation Apps on iTunes

TomTom debuts iPhone App amidst competition
Dutch navigation provider TomTom made its iPhone application available today on the Apple App Store for North America (US$99.99), Western Europe (€99.99 or €69.99 for one country), Australia (US$79.99) and New Zealand (US$94.99). Compared to the software available in its connected Portable Navigation Devices (PNDs), this is a relatively basic application: IQ Route (routing based on actual speed data from TomTom users), a speedcam database (for Europe) and speed warnings seems to be the only features that differentiate this application from a TomTom PND selling at roughly the same price.

TomTom also previously announced it would offera dedicated car kit for the iPhone; this accessory is rumored to be priced around $199 (with the application) although TomTom did not confirm this pricing and a date of availability. A few weeks ago, speaking during a conference call with financial analysts, TomTom CEO was not able to confirm this accessory would be available in the Apple stores, negotiation were still ongoing with Apple.

In the most recent weeks the competition between navigation applications heated up on the App store with the availability of iGo MyWay 2009 (from NNG Global services aka Nav N Go) and CoPilot Live (North America and UK) from ALK Technologies. In North America ALK is selling this application for the bargain price of $34.99, however the map data offered have been developed internally by ALK and are not as good as Tele Atlas or NAVTEQ as it can be seen from the comments about the App on iTunes.

TomTom debuts iPhone App amidst competition
Nav N GO made the choice to sell its navigation software at $79.99 and included NAVTEQ maps with a free quarterly map update until December 2010.

Pricing landscape
It seems that the market is still seeking a pricing scheme for these navigation applications on the Apple App store. In the one hand historical, US off-board mobile navigation providers (TeleNav and NIM) have maintained their 9.99$/per month model while in the other hand the new entrants are offering lifetime licenses through on-board applications at very diverse price tags.

The confusion is further increased by time limited “sales”: in North America NAVIGON is currently having a “summer sale” at $69.99 until the end of August and Slovakia-based Sygic is doing the same at $39.99. The situation is pretty much the same in Europe; however, comparing prices is even more difficult because some providers offer only maps for Western Europe (around 20 countries) while others - such as Nav N Go - integrates central and Eastern Europe with 40 countries in their package.


Monday, August 17th 2009

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