NAVTEQ is trying to change its image from that of a mapping company to something more like a location-oriented content supplier. That’s the thinking behind its $179m acquisition of the US traffic information supplier Traffic.com.
That company has lots of state and federal contracts; more interestingly, it earns most of its money from advertisers – a market that NAVTEQ is new to.
Mobile advertising obviously has huge potential, especially for local search (in the short term) and location-specific ads (in the not-too-distant future).
NAVTEQ can probably affords to think big – it has just reported record Q3 revenues, up 16% $143m. Operating income grew 22% over the year-ago period to $37m.
New from Magellan – the Roadmate 2200T series, a range of “small, powerful and affordable portable vehicle navigation devices” that will be available in Q1 2007. The ‘range’ currently includes just two models, one of which – the 2250T – claims to be the world’s first rugged IPX-4-waterproof car system that can be upgraded to provide off-road navigation and real-time traffic capabilities.
Nokia’s new 330 Auto Navigation should be on the market in the New Year – Route 66 for the software, NAVTEQ for the mapping, maps for most of Europe on 2GB memory cards. The spec looks reasonable, with 2D and 3D imaging, day/night options, and Nokia build quality; the end user price is quoted as around €360, depending on the market.