SatNav round-up

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Overall European mobile navigation software shipments in Q3 2005 reached more than 1.9m units, an increase of 27% on the second quarter, according to market researcher Canalys.

Germany’s Destinator was the big winner, with Q3 sales up 55%. The company has just signalled its global ambitions with a name-change from Destinator Europe to Destinator Technologies.

According to Godehard Gerling, VP of Business Development: “Mobile navigation is about to take the final hurdle in terms of becoming a mass market. All drivers will soon realise the benefits of having a personal guide to safely and quickly deliver them to their destinations saving time, fuel and money.”

Another strong showing in the European GPS market came from Belgium’s Mio Technology, which recorded a 124% volume growth and a market share increase of 3.9% for European handheld sales during Q3 2005 compared to the year-ago period.

Canalys positions Mio as no. 4 in Europe for PDAs and for mobile GPS navigation devices
Another European satnav starlet is Wisepilot from Appello, which has just picked up a Guldmobilen (“Golden Mobile) award for best GPS solution at the Swedish Mobile Awards 2005.

Wisepilot is an off-board system – mapping data is on a server – and such navigation systems are likely to become a boom area in satnav. The server-based approach means map data and points of interest can be up-to-date, the service can run on many common mobile phones, and – perhaps most usefully – they can be offered with a variety of flexible pricing models (such as per route, per day and per weekend) which will be more cost-effective for many consumers.

Appello has recently signed a distribution agreement with Elite Mobile for the WisePilot-powered Navig8 product.

And market leader TomTom has introduced a single memory card with map data of all Western Europe – a total of 18 countries available to users of most of its products without having to switch between maps. The card retails for e249.

TomTom has also added a map download service with prices starting at e39.95.