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TomTom to release iPod touch-specific GPS car kit

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
In conjunction with its newly updated App Store software, TomTom announced it will release a car kit that will bring GPS functionality specifically to the iPod touch.

The new TomTom car kit for iPod touch is compatible with both the first- and second-generation iPod touch, and requires iPhone OS 3.0 or later. The hardware will be "available shortly," the company announced this week.

At $99.95, the hardware is $20 cheaper than the car kit for iPhone. According to a TomTom spokesperson, the car kit for iPhone has Bluetooth capabilities, while the iPod touch kit does not. In addition, the iPod touch kit is slightly smaller.

Features of the new hardware, according to TomTom, include:

Secure docking: Award-winning EasyPort mount fixes your iPod touch.

Built-in GPS receiver: The built-in GPS receiver turns your iPod touch into a mobile navigation device.

Clear voice instructions: Built-in speaker allows users to hear instructions.

Line out for music playback: Using the line out connector, users can play songs through a car's audio system with the optional audio cable. The system also fades music when giving directions.

Rotates for optimal positioning: Rotate the screen for widescreen route display. And the kit folds flat, making it easier to move from car to car.

Charges iPod touch while driving: Dock your iPod and have it charge as you drive.


Earlier this week, TomTom updated its application on the App Store to version 1.2, adding support for the first-generation iPhone, as well as the iPod touch. Previously, the software could only be installed on the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS.

Both the first-generation iPhone and the iPod touch require car kits, because the devices lack an integrated GPS receiver. The kit also boosts GPS reception with its external receiver for the iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS. The iPhone car kit retails for $119.95.
post #2 of 38
So $100 for the car kit and another $100 for the software.

Ridiculous.

Just buy a standalone GPS for $120.

And Garmin or Magellan software is better IMO.

Good luck Tom Tom.
post #3 of 38
Dear TomTom;

Fire your marketing and sales department immediately!

This almost feels like maltreatment. I really wanted to support you guys, but your train wreck of marketing and pricing products have demanded better sense of me to look elsewhere
post #4 of 38
Rip off!!
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post #5 of 38
The navigation software for $100 plus $100 for kit is kind of expensive, but aren't you allowed to distribute the software with devices authorized on the same account?

My wife has the 1G iPod Touch, and I had always considered TomTom for my iPhone. I don't know what the sharing rules are, but I assume it's the same with all apps. So we'd be splitting the software cost which makes it a much more compelling purchase. Additionally, I have two friends who are authorized (back from the DRM days of music) which effectively makes it even cheaper. So ~$25 for software and ~$100 for kit. Not so bad.

Can anyone confirm this is the case?

(Yes, I should just look up the terms and conditions myself. It's Friday and I'm lazy.)

- Greg
post #6 of 38
What are the differences between this one and the iPhone version? Will both versions work with the iPhone? At $20 cheaper, why should I not buy this one. I don't neccesarily want the TOMTOM software, but a hand charging dock with line-out would be nice.... oh an whatever happen to the proposed FM transmitter that was supposed to be build-in, did TomTom nix this idea.
post #7 of 38
can someone please remind me (& maybe others) what are the technical, aesthetic & economic problems of integrating a GPS chip within the iPod Touch? any reason why Apple chose not to do it?
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post #8 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay View Post

can someone please remind me (& maybe others) what are the technical, aesthetic & economic problems of integrating a GPS chip within the iPod Touch? any reason why Apple chose not to do it?

Probably to differentiate between the Touch and the iPhone.
You may see features like this in the Touch as the iPhone advances.
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post #9 of 38
The hardware, if it works for my 3GS, would be worth the money to me.. I have yet to find a working charger for the 3GS (months after release!).. .the old iPod/iPhone chargers don't work.

I also wanted a good car mount and line out integrated.... and woudl like navigation as well.

THis would be a slam dunk... but my wife has a 1G iphone and another family member who drives the car occasionally has a recent iPod touch, so which mount should I buy?

Does the iPod touch mount work with the 3GS? Does the iPhone mount work with the iPod?

As another AI user mentioned, their marketing department is crap.
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay View Post

can someone please remind me (& maybe others) what are the technical, aesthetic & economic problems of integrating a GPS chip within the iPod Touch? any reason why Apple chose not to do it?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Probably to differentiate between the Touch and the iPhone.
You may see features like this in the Touch as the iPhone advances.

Probably both as a differentiator and as a matter of available space, not only for the GPS chip and antenna, but also for a larger battery to run it all. The touch is thinner than the iPhone (which has already come back to bite them in the ass with the camera blunder), so there may not be room for it all unless they redesign the case.
post #11 of 38
Clearly, Apple needs to include GPS functionality (not to mention video camera and FM radio) in the next iteration of the Touch. It's absurd to have all these add-ons if we're willing to pay for them to be included.

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post #12 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Probably to differentiate between the Touch and the iPhone.
You may see features like this in the Touch as the iPhone advances.

With a significantly higher price point.
post #13 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

With a significantly higher price point.

I'm also disappointed that we (as iPod touch owners) are not able to use the virtual world information display overlays that have been popping up (pun intended). Give us a camera lens, positional capability and let us go nuts with it.

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post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by r00fus View Post

The hardware, if it works for my 3GS, would be worth the money to me.. I have yet to find a working charger for the 3GS (months after release!).. .the old iPod/iPhone chargers don't work.

The Kensington LiquidAUX Deluxe for iPhone and iPod does.

And considering the Kensington at $129, the added features of the TomTom iPhone car kit @ $120 and TomTom iPod kit @ $100 certainly kills the need to buy the Kensington.

http://store.apple.com/ca/product/TR...cwODQ#overview
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Xian Zhu Xuande View Post

Probably to differentiate between the Touch and the iPhone.
You may see features like this in the Touch as the iPhone advances.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wiggin View Post

Probably both as a differentiator and as a matter of available space, not only for the GPS chip and antenna, but also for a larger battery to run it all. The touch is thinner than the iPhone (which has already come back to bite them in the ass with the camera blunder), so there may not be room for it all unless they redesign the case.

well, there's already a big enough differentiation- the bit where they put a friggin' phone in one & not the other!
but yes, would be nice to see this in future iPod Touch model refreshes - higher price points are probably expected, but may be discounted in part to decreasing cost, like for example, how they keep increasing storage capacity but don't decrease the price substantially.
yes again, the iPod Touch is thinner than the iPhone, but no one's really complaining about the thickness of the iPhone. so a thicker iPod Touch does seem viable especially if they chose to include more features like GPS & (cough!) camera! a redesign of the case is also not a bad idea!

...
ok, I'm not going to hijack & deviate this thread from the original topic anymore... apologies to everyone for the little bit of distraction!
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post #16 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

The Kensington LiquidAUX Deluxe for iPhone and iPod does.

And considering the Kensington at $129, the added features of the TomTom iPhone car kit @ $120 and TomTom iPod kit @ $100 certainly kills the need to buy the Kensington.

http://store.apple.com/ca/product/TR...cwODQ#overview

$129!?

Why not this at $20? It says right on there that it is compatible with 3GS (it works perfectly with my 3G): http://store.apple.com/ca/product/TS...co=MTA4NTk1MjE
post #17 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

So $100 for the car kit and another $100 for the software.

Ridiculous.

Just buy a standalone GPS for $120.

And Garmin or Magellan software is better IMO.

Good luck Tom Tom.

I agree. They have to be kidding themselves. A dedicated GPS unit must work better. I also don't have to pump it into my stereo to listen to music, disconnect for phone calls, etc. The fact that Tom Tom can't throw in the software for a $100 or $120 cradle is absurd. You can get a decent GPS for $150-200. I don't see any incentive for this.
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post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by ajay View Post

...
ok, I'm not going to hijack & deviate this thread from the original topic anymore... apologies to everyone for the little bit of distraction!

Wow! Amazing. Thanks.
post #19 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

$129!?

Why not this at $20? It says right on there that it is compatible with 3GS (it works perfectly with my 3G): http://store.apple.com/ca/product/TS...co=MTA4NTk1MjE

You are right.

However, I was attempting to compare apples with apples so the speak.

The Kensington deluxe car kit comes closer in nature to TomTom's. Both have a 'mounting' system, connection to your car stereo for example, which is not featured in the Griffin.
post #20 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

I agree. They have to be kidding themselves. A dedicated GPS unit must work better. I also don't have to pump it into my stereo to listen to music, disconnect for phone calls, etc. The fact that Tom Tom can't throw in the software for a $100 or $120 cradle is absurd. You can get a decent GPS for $150-200. I don't see any incentive for this.

You are correct.

But you can buy a Chevy cheaper than a Lexus.

A highend dedicated GPS unit that has the near functionality of the TomTom car kit runs closer to $400 to $600, not the $120-200 models.

You could buy a Garmin nüvifone G60 GPS Phone, It's list price is only $500.
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post

Wow! Amazing. Thanks.

no problem
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post #22 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by msantti View Post

So $100 for the car kit and another $100 for the software.

Ridiculous.

Just buy a standalone GPS for $120.

And Garmin or Magellan software is better IMO.

Good luck Tom Tom.

In theory I agree, however my Garmin is terrible at getting me from A to B it makes very strange errors all the time. I recently programmed in 'Atlanta from Tampa' and after the tenth time it told me to exit I75 in the middle of nowhere I had to disconnect it lol.

p.s. I should point out I do know how to get from Tampa to Atlanta.
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post #23 of 38
They should go one better and make a GPS that mounts on the roof with a shark-fin external antenna and that broadcasts via Bluetooth or WiFi to iPhones and touches held anywhere in the car.

Advantages:

1. Much better reception.

2. No theft problem.

3. Good for the life of the car.

4. iPhone/touch can be positioned for better driver viewing or use by a passenger.

5. No bother of disconnecting everything each time you leave the car. The GPStenna stays with the car. The iPhone goes with you like it would anyway.

6. Opens up a market for similar GPStennas on mass transit as a courtesy to passengers.

--Mike Perry
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

A highend dedicated GPS unit that has the near functionality of the TomTom car kit runs closer to $400 to $600, not the $120-200 models.

Can you explain what functionality do you mean?
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post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by gin_tonic View Post

Can you explain what functionality do you mean?

Bluetooth, mp3 player, audio book player, audio out, voice navigation, lane assist, 3D buildings, speed limit indicator
post #26 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

Bluetooth, mp3 player, audio book player, audio out, voice navigation, lane assist, 3D buildings, speed limit indicator

Do you think that "Bluetooth, mp3 player, audio book player" have any relation to road navigation?
Even cheap TomTom GPS devices have "speed limit indicator". And some cheap models have Bluetooth. The only useful differences between cheap and highend GPS units are lane assist, text-to-spech and voice recognition.
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post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

You are correct.

But you can buy a Chevy cheaper than a Lexus.

A highend dedicated GPS unit that has the near functionality of the TomTom car kit runs closer to $400 to $600, not the $120-200 models.

You could buy a Garmin nüvifone G60 GPS Phone, It's list price is only $500.

Not really. The garmin units are quite reasonable now. The Garmin 755t (my current fav, others may want other things) is selling at Costco for 199. It easily has all the features of the Tom Tom unit, with lifetime FM traffic included. And, if you are so inclined, you can drag your aac's (non protected) and mp3's and put them on the SD card. The 755t is probably the model I will move to from my old garmin iQue......if it ever breaks.
post #28 of 38
Digitalclips

Easy solution. Call Garmin and ask for a replacement. Also sounds like you could either have out dated maps, or don't have all the map "tiles" installed.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkevwill View Post

Not really. The garmin units are quite reasonable now. The Garmin 755t (my current fav, others may want other things) is selling at Costco for 199. It easily has all the features of the Tom Tom unit, with lifetime FM traffic included. And, if you are so inclined, you can drag your aac's (non protected) and mp3's and put them on the SD card. The 755t is probably the model I will move to from my old garmin iQue......if it ever breaks.

Better hurry. The $100 discount is over on the 30th.

Based on mixed reviews, I wouldn't be my decision.

And having an iphone, the $220 for a better functioning TomTom is my choice.
post #30 of 38
I'm tired of hearing folks bitch and moan about how the TomTom car kit and softwear are overpriced. Here is why I think it is a reasonably good value.

I still have my first-gen iPhone and my wife and I both have iPhone 3GSs as well. Once the 4G LX or whatever comes after the 3GS comes out we will probably upgrade. At that point Ill have 5 iPhone devices and I can put the softwear on all 5 of them for only $100. That works out to only $20 per phone. At that point we can use our old 3GSs as dedicated GPS units for the car.

I've looked at many car docking solutions. Many of them run $50-100 and don't have half the features of the TomTom car kit. Considering what you get, the price is right.
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post

I'm tired of hearing folks bitch and moan about how the TomTom car kit and softwear are overpriced. Here is why I think it is a reasonably good value.

I still have my first-gen iPhone and my wife and I both have iPhone 3GSs as well. Once the 4G LX or whatever comes after the 3GS comes out we will probably upgrade. At that point Ill have 5 iPhone devices and I can put the softwear on all 5 of them for only $100. That works out to only $20 per phone. At that point we can use our old 3GSs as dedicated GPS units for the car.

I've looked at many car docking solutions. Many of them run $50-100 and don't have half the features of the TomTom car kit. Considering what you get, the price is right.

You raise an interesting point. My question is how do you share an app from the app store amongst the family members. I thought that had been officially permitted by SJ but when I tried I could not see how to accomplish the sharing and then thought I was getting mixed up with music sharing not apps. Your post makes me think maybe my initial thoughts were correct. I assume you have a 5 user family MobileMe account as I do.
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post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by rkevwill View Post

Digitalclips

Easy solution. Call Garmin and ask for a replacement. Also sounds like you could either have out dated maps, or don't have all the map "tiles" installed.

Thanks I will call them. I did the one 'free map update' they offer not long ago so it is not that out of date and Atlanta hasn't moved much lol ... I have the entire East Coast installed.

However I should add on several trips to Miami on business I have been on this year my experiences with built in GPS and external ones has not been good. I have been in a Bentley, a Mercedes SLK 550 and a Land Rover with their own built in versions and also used a Garmin when in a vehicle without a built in GPS. In all cases the GPS systems proved erratic and down right crazy at times! They often had us turn off major roads into dubious neighborhoods and get us lost. Twice insisting we turn while on a bridge where the road was underneath and not connected! No kidding, we always ended up with a passenger calling out direction from his iPhone using Google Maps which was not wrong once.

p.s. I only mention car makes to show in theory they should be reasonable quality! They were all my client's cars, sadly not mine
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post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

The Kensington LiquidAUX Deluxe for iPhone and iPod does.

And considering the Kensington at $129, the added features of the TomTom iPhone car kit @ $120 and TomTom iPod kit @ $100 certainly kills the need to buy the Kensington.

http://store.apple.com/ca/product/TR...cwODQ#overview

$79.99 you mean.

http://us.kensington.com/html/14493.html

You have been had

If you think the offerings from Tom Tom are reasonable, you must be a customer of 'I saw you coming'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVvcD4Czx4Y
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post

You are correct.

But you can buy a Chevy cheaper than a Lexus.

A highend dedicated GPS unit that has the near functionality of the TomTom car kit runs closer to $400 to $600, not the $120-200 models.

You could buy a Garmin nüvifone G60 GPS Phone, It's list price is only $500.

That's a ridiculous comparison. The low cost GPS units compare favorably with the Tom Tom solution. They have larger screens and dedicated receivers. They are also likely louder for voice directions, because the speakers on the iPhone/Touch suck, volume wise.

Saying it's Chevy vs. Lexus assumes that Tom Tom solution is more expensive but also much better. I seriously doubt that.

And let's examine the actual cost:

$200 iPod Touch
$100 Tom Tom software
$120 cradle


True cost for iPod touch nav: $420

Now, let's say I own a $200 iPod Touch and want nav. I could spend $220 for the Tom Tom, or about the same for a nav with a larger screen, equivalent mount, etc. I also don't have to worry about using it while playing digital music. I can use my Touch for that. Other people can use the Touch for games, etc...all while I use nav.

At best it's a wash. Now...make the cradle/software $99 and you would probably have a lot of sales volume.
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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by cnocbui View Post

$79.99 you mean.

http://us.kensington.com/html/14493.html

You have been had

If you think the offerings from Tom Tom are reasonable, you must be a customer of 'I saw you coming'

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVvcD4Czx4Y

Looks like it.

Still not worth it. Apparently the goose neck comes out of the power plug and is only a few inches long. In which case I would have to look down to my console to see the screen. And the reviews are nothing to speak of.*

CNET has done a review and concludes: "The TomTom Car Kit for iPhone carries an MSRP of $119, but that price is more than a little misleading. For the kit to be useful, you need to add $99 to that price for the software. So you're actually in about $220 when all is said and done. At that price range, you're above the $200 MSRP of the TomTom ONE 140 S, a standalone portable navigation device with a very similar feature set. However, the TomTom Car Kit features Bluetooth hands-free calling through the connected iPhone and online POI searching using the phone's data connection, features that can't be duplicated in the TomTom ONE series."

* http://store.apple.com/us/reviews/TR...t&s=topSellers

http://reviews.cnet.com/gps/tomtom-c...tag=txt%3bpage
post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by SDW2001 View Post

That's a ridiculous comparison. The low cost GPS units compare favorably with the Tom Tom solution. They have larger screens and dedicated receivers. They are also likely louder for voice directions, because the speakers on the iPhone/Touch suck, volume wise.

Saying it's Chevy vs. Lexus assumes that Tom Tom solution is more expensive but also much better. I seriously doubt that.

And let's examine the actual cost:

$200 iPod Touch
$100 Tom Tom software
$120 cradle

True cost for iPod touch nav: $420

Now, let's say I own a $200 iPod Touch and want nav. I could spend $220 for the Tom Tom, or about the same for a nav with a larger screen, equivalent mount, etc. I also don't have to worry about using it while playing digital music. I can use my Touch for that. Other people can use the Touch for games, etc...all while I use nav.

At best it's a wash. Now...make the cradle/software $99 and you would probably have a lot of sales volume.

As CNET points out, the TomTom app/car kit for the iPhone would be similar in features to the TomTom ONE 140 S*, "However, the TomTom Car Kit features Bluetooth hands-free calling through the connected iPhone and online POI searching using the phone's data connection, features that can't be duplicated in the TomTom ONE series."

As per making a cradle/software for $99, you are probably right, "…you would probably have a lot of sales…," but I doubt you would be in business for very long.

It is obvious by the length of time it has taken everybody that is in this market to come to market, that it is not as simple as it would seem.

One should also consider that the cradle has a number of functions, e.g., Bluetooth hands-free calling through the connected iPhone, online POI searching using the phone's data connection and greater GPS signalling via the car kits "integrated SiRF Star 3 GPS receiver that is more sensitive than the iPhone's integrated GPS antenna", a loud speaker, a charger, etc., that increases its value immensely.

Now the one thing that the TomTom app, and the others as well, can do that the standalone software can't, is to be used in virtually every iPhone/iPod touch that you have or every will in the near future. Although it may not apply to you, we presently have one iPhone and three iPod Touches in the family. This Christmas, we intend to add one iPhone 3GS and 2 new iPod Touches. Theoretically, the cost of the software can be amortized over the 7 devices, which drops the unit price to less than $15 each. That is pretty cheap for all the map data that you get. Imagine the cost and the reliability/ accuracy of using a GPS that had to be continually connected to a data plan that would have to be bought for each device.

I wouldn't be surprised to see third-party car kits become available in you could use TomTom iPhone/touch apps. As their manual doesn't imply that you can't:†

Quote:
GPS reception
The iPod touch and some models of the iPhone do not include a GPS receiver. To use these devices for navigation, you need to use them with a GPS acces- sory, such as the TomTom car kit.

The car kit includes a GPS receiver, a speaker for playing navigation instructions, and a microphone for making hands-free calls while you are driving. We recommend using the TomTom car kit with all iPhones and the iPod touch.

For more information, go to tomtom.com/iphone. When you first start the TomTom app, it may need a few minutes to determine
your GPS position and show your current position on the map.

To make sure you have good GPS reception, you should use your device out-doors. Large objects such as tall buildings can sometimes interfere with reception.

Note: If your device has no GPS reception, TomTom app uses position information from WiFi networks or mobile phone towers. This information is used to find your approximate position and for route planning. TomTom app cannot give you route instructions until it has GPS reception.

*Actually, TomTom app/car kit for the iPod touch would be closer to he price.
http://www.tomtom.com/support/support.php?ID=3
post #37 of 38
...at this point tom tom can take their totally overpriced car kit it shove it where the sun don't shine. talk about prima donnas! first they tease everybody forever with the launch date, then the contraption is like 3 times overpriced. i guess their bone head marketing guys don't read the news or they would know that google will put them out of business real soon.
post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by gsteeno View Post

The navigation software for $100 plus $100 for kit is kind of expensive, but aren't you allowed to distribute the software with devices authorized on the same account?

My wife has the 1G iPod Touch, and I had always considered TomTom for my iPhone. I don't know what the sharing rules are, but I assume it's the same with all apps. So we'd be splitting the software cost which makes it a much more compelling purchase. Additionally, I have two friends who are authorized (back from the DRM days of music) which effectively makes it even cheaper. So ~$25 for software and ~$100 for kit. Not so bad.

Can anyone confirm this is the case?

(Yes, I should just look up the terms and conditions myself. It's Friday and I'm lazy.)

- Greg

Hey Greg,

I'm currently doing some work with TomTom and to answer your question, TomTom built the app complying with the terms and conditions of the Apple iTunes store. This means the TomTom app can be shared with up to five people after the app has been downloaded provided the same iTunes account is used. However, in order for the app to work on the iPod touch one must have the TomTom iPod car cradle.

Thanks.
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