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Three turn-by-turn GPS solution providers plan iPhone offerings

post #1 of 57
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A trio of turn-by-turn GPS navigation system makers said this week they plan to introduce solutions for the iPhone later this year, but Olathe-based Garmin isn't among them, choosing instead to take on the iPhone head-on with its own hybrid cellphone/navigator solution.

Garmin out

"At this time, we have no plans to offer an iPhone application given our strategic smartphone relationship with ASUS to produce the Garmin-Asus nüvifone," Garmin spokesperson Jessica Myers told AppleInsider earlier this week.

Introduced as a prototype in January of 2008, the Nüvifone is a 3G-enabled touchscreen-based mobile phone that will morph into a turn-by-turn GPS navigator with hands-free calling once snapped into a vehicle mount.

Although Garmin and its partner Asus had initially anticipated availability of the Nüvifone for last fall, plans for the device, which will also sport a build-in camera, appear to have been delayed till the third quarter of this year at the earliest.

TomTom in

Garmin's move to take on the iPhone with a similar device essentially opened the door for its primary competitor TomTom to embark on an exclusive working relationship with Apple to deliver the first dedicated in-car navigation solution for iPhone: a TomTom navigation app combined with a car kit designed specifically for the iPhone.

Apple is focusing on development of the app itself, which will include IQ Routes and latest maps from Tele Atlas when its made available on the App Store following the release of iPhone Software 3.0 a bit later this month.

For its part, TomTom is putting the finishing touches on the car kit accessory, which enhances the iPhone's GPS signal through its dock connector thanks to third-party accessory support built into the iPhone SDK 3.0. The kit also charges the iPhone, includes a built-in loud speaker for spoken turn-by-turn directions, and comes equipped with a microphone for hands-free calling.



While previewing the solution at WWDC on Monday, TomToms co-founder and CTO Peter-Frans Pauwels said the kit will include a built-in FM transmitter for playing your iPhone's music library over your car stereo as well.



TomTom says details regarding pricing and availability for both the application and the TomTom car kit for iPhone will be made available in advance of the products launch later this summer. In the meantime, the company has published the following teaser video to YouTube showing the navigation software interface and its car mount kit.



Navigon also in

Jumping on the heels of TomTom's announcement was German GPS device maker Navigon, which said Tuesday that iPhone users will be able to "kit out their smartphones" with its own navigation software from App Stores across the globe later this month.

"With the new OS 3.0 operating system, Apple has made the use of navigation software on the iPhone possible, and NAVIGON has quickly managed to adapt the MobileNavigator software to the new firmware," said Navigon chief executive Egon Minar. "The iPhone can now be transformed into a versatile, fully functional navigator."

The software will reportedly include functions such as Reality View Pro, Real Roadsign Pro, Lane Assistant Pro, Speed Assistant, Day & Night Mode, amongst others, as well as the option of displaying points of interest (POIs) along the route.



"If you turn the iPhone 90 degrees, then the display switches automatically from portrait to landscape view," Minar added. "As well as this automatic display adjustment, and the intelligent address entry, there is also the option of navigating directly to an address from saved contacts. If navigation is interrupted by a telephone call then navigation is resumed automatically after the call has ended."

While pricing for Navigon's solution is similarly undetermined, Minar noted that his company plans to also release a LITE version for free, with no active route guidance, but with map material and the possibility to display POIs in the vicinity.

TeleNav to follow

Also expected to join the pack of turn-by-turn GPS solution providers for the iPhone is Sunnyvale, Calif.-based TeleNav. AppleInsider believes the company has been mapping out its own software solution for the iPhone for roughly a year now. TeleNav currently partners with several wireless providers including AT&T, who markets the software on several of its handsets under the "AT&T Navigator" brand with monthly subscription fees fetching approximately $10. TeleNav may be planning a similar partnership with AT&T for its iPhone solution.

Asked for an update on the matter Tuesday, TeleNav spokesperson MaryBeth Lowell pointed to this blog post or hers and said she "unfortunately cant share anything" further at this time.



"[I]ts really great to see that there is such demand for our service and we feel humbled by the onslaught of requests. We appreciate all of your ongoing support," she wrote. "We dont have an official announcement today regarding the iPhone but will soon. So we ask that you keep following our news here or on Twitter as we will keep you updated on iPhone news that way."
post #2 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Apple is focusing on development of the app itself, which will include IQ Routes and latest maps from Tele Atlas when its made available on the App Store following the release of iPhone Software 3.0 a bit later this month.

Wow! That's what's called "juicy news". God, we've been waiting so long.

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post #3 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

"At this time, we have no plans to offer an iPhone application given our strategic smartphone relationship with ASUS to produce the Garmin-Asus nüvifone,"

"At this time, we have no plans to stay in business"

Edit: Looks like Garmin isn't totally clueless, they're developing an Android phone with ASUS. (Will this be the nuviphone that actually ships?)
post #4 of 57
Looks like Garmin put its eggs in a teeny weeny basket. That's really an absurd alliance on their part.
post #5 of 57
Quote:
Wichita-based Garmin isn't among them, choosing instead to take on the iPhone head-on with its own hybrid cellphone/navigator solution.

Garmin sucks anyway. Short it.

TomTom is the cherry on the GPS sundae. Long it.
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post #6 of 57
I think Garmin's making a terrible mistake. Introducing yet another touch phone into a crowded market, and expecting your GPS solution to be the differentiator doesn't make any sense, when people can download GPS programs for the phones they're familiar with.

It means leaving App Store money on the table on the gamble that consumers will get excited about a "Nüvifone."

Now, maybe they'll prove me wrong, and the Asus partnership will make a great phone. But when capable handsets that can run your software are proliferating, why reinvent that wheel?

Maybe they're going for the "whole widget" thing, but Garmin has had a pretty narrow focus to be jumping into the general computing pool, and make no mistake: nobody in their right mind would buy a smart phone just because it has great Garmin GPS integration, unless it's a pretty kick ass phone in general.

Google, Garmin...... is every vendor that has internet centric wares to peddle going to make their own phone?
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post #7 of 57
I want to stay away from monthly fees to maintain the usability from the app. I'd be fine with paying for updates and whatnot.
post #8 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by dagamer34 View Post

I want to stay away from monthly fees to maintain the usability from the app. I'd be fine with paying for updates and whatnot.

Couldn't agree more. 10 bucks per month = forgeddaboudit
post #9 of 57
LOL, Garmin releasing its software on a phone that 3 people will buy.

Good bye Garmin, wasn't nice meeting ya.
post #10 of 57
Pretty soon there will be no point in buying a GPS navigation-only unit to stick into your windshield.
post #11 of 57
I take it Garmin will be withdrawing their Symbian and WinMlo versions from the market then.

I guess I won't be updating my wife's Navman anytime soon, I'll be comparing the cost of updating the the maps ($A189) to the iPhone offerings.

Goodbye Garmin it was nice using you.
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post #12 of 57
I won't be buying any software that requires a monthly subscription. If you want more money, make it an in app purchase program where we can actually buy more components for the software. Otherwise, I'll take my $$$ elsewhere thank you very much!
post #13 of 57
Garmin is on the wrong side of history.
post #14 of 57
TomTom charges about $150 for its other smart phone software. Map subscrptions are $40 per year, or $80 per update. That would be $190 first year.

The $10 a month option from Telenav might be attractive to some people.
post #15 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by addabox View Post

I think Garmin's making a terrible mistake. Introducing yet another touch phone into a crowded market, and expecting your GPS solution to be the differentiator doesn't make any sense, when people can download GPS programs for the phones they're familiar with.

It means leaving App Store money on the table on the gamble that consumers will get excited about a "Nüvifone."

Now, maybe they'll prove me wrong, and the Asus partnership will make a great phone. But when capable handsets that can run your software are proliferating, why reinvent that wheel?

Maybe they're going for the "whole widget" thing, but Garmin has had a pretty narrow focus to be jumping into the general computing pool, and make no mistake: nobody in their right mind would buy a smart phone just because it has great Garmin GPS integration, unless it's a pretty kick ass phone in general.

Google, Garmin...... is every vendor that has internet centric wares to peddle going to make their own phone?

I agree... I have a Garmin GPS and can say it's one of the easiest to use of the GPS units out there. Makes no since to not be part of this market. I guess their "Thinking Different" is not like Apples and like you said, why set up shop for a phone that in all probability will not make it with the likes of Apple, RIM and the others. Now which of the companies providing this service is the right one to go with? Looks like the folks in Germany have a pretty cool idea and interface and even Tom Tom looks cool but the folks out in CA not giving any info on their software...what up with that?
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post #16 of 57
BREAKING NEWS!

Jon Rubenstein to be Palm CEO July 1st!


back to topic...
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post #17 of 57
I hope you don't have to have their little adapter and power supply to use this... This would be useful while biking or taking the bus or even walking. if it needs 12V from a car to work....
post #18 of 57
I really like that Navigon 3D view!

Quote:
Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post

TomTom charges about $150 for its other smart phone software. Map subscrptions are $40 per year, or $80 per update. That would be $190 first year.

The $10 a month option from Telenav might be attractive to some people.

Never having owned a TomTom, I have a question: you can just NOT update your maps, can't you? Things don't change that often. So if I wished, I could buy an $80 update after 3 years, say? (Not that $40/year sounds that bad anyway.)
post #19 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by AIaddict View Post

TomTom charges about $150 for its other smart phone software. Map subscrptions are $40 per year, or $80 per update. That would be $190 first year.

The $10 a month option from Telenav might be attractive to some people.

They might be wise to change their pricing structure for the iPhone. Most successful apps are the ones people don't mind dropping $5-$10 on. Once prices reach the $100 mark, you're better off buying a standalone.
post #20 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tauron View Post

Pretty soon there will be no point in buying a GPS navigation-only unit to stick into your windshield.

That is kind of the point. There are all kinds of niche electronic products that the iPhone can turn into...the markets for which can be large or small...so auto GPS...then hiking/biking GPS....golf GPS rangefinder...flip-type video camera...medical record display for physicians....and so forth.
post #21 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by stompy View Post

"At this time, we have no plans to stay in business"

Or

At this time, our lawyers are unable to find a loophole to get us out of a contract we foolishly signed with Asus."
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post #22 of 57
Based on how TomTom described the dock, most of the heavy lifting is going on in the iPhone and the dock is a glorified charger. Still, they'll probably charge $49 for it.

I would probably pay $15-$20 for the app.

Does iPhone 3.0 provide for a subscription model for apps? I assume TomTom will want a way to charge you for updates.
post #23 of 57
They need to create a kit that includes
Redial
Preset phone numbers 10
Integration with contacts
Voice controls.
Touch screen for phone functions
My garmin can be used for minimal touch capability
But my garmin 360bt does something simple touch interface to make up for the
LACK OF VOICE DIALING
I was drooling for the SE AB900 then sony cancelled
It. It had 6 presets fm transmitter dlp echo cancellation
That was my solution for safer driving BUT now must look
Elsewhere
We need a thread for hands free iPhone car kits
Blueant get presets
Mr handsfree I'll just lose the remote build in the presets
Of someone please create a kit that can suck in the contacts
From the iPhone and have it's own voice control
Voice dialing. I sure miss my v551 voice dialing
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post #24 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

I really like that Navigon 3D view!



Never having owned a TomTom, I have a question: you can just NOT update your maps, can't you? Things don't change that often. So if I wished, I could buy an $80 update after 3 years, say? (Not that $40/year sounds that bad anyway.)

You do not have to update maps, so you could do the $80 every 3-4 years if you want. You do lose out on the user corrections after 1 year, and you would be surprised how much can change in just a couple years. Things like new turn restrictions can bite you when traveling and that is one area TomTom and Garmin have been ahead of the second tier products.
post #25 of 57
Like their own company name, TomTom seems to be offering a lot of redundancy with the navigation hardware.

As I see it:

Speaker. iPhone's got one.
Microphone. Believe all phones have one.
Enhanced GPS Antenna. Noone's sure if this is needed to get a good signal.
Car Charger. Would think many/most iPhone owners already have one.
FM Transmitter. Would think many/most iPhone owners have some kind of solution already.
Mounting Bracket. Definitely needed, but it could be a simple piece of plastic.

An it-does-it-all accessory, whether you want all those features or not. Hopefully not priced to match. Can see the wisdom of a louder speaker for turn-by-turn, and the bracket is a must-have.
post #26 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by nagromme View Post

Never having owned a TomTom, I have a question: you can just NOT update your maps, can't you? Things don't change that often. So if I wished, I could buy an $80 update after 3 years, say? (Not that $40/year sounds that bad anyway.)

Yes, until now, everyone paid TomTom map updates, when (s)he found it comfortable to have fresh ones. (Personally, I buy them right before my grand rides, once or twice a year.)
I can't guarantee they won't change their pricing scheme in AppStore, but I don't see why they would need to.

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post #27 of 57
great article - they're not based in Wichita Kansas (because we can't fact-check Wikipedia or Google because our widdle fingers will get aw tired) - but who gives a fuck about flyover country right kiddies?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Garmin

and re:Good bye Garmin, wasn't nice meeting ya.

Right - they're going to go out of business because a of product - that isn't released yet - is going to kill them - somehow. Wonder if they sell anything else in the meantime currently? Ya know, I think they do sell something right now in fact. A lot of them too. Did you miss that because of your medical pot prescription?

Did you think Microsoft was going to go under because of the Zune? Was this before or after your 5th bong rip cleared?
post #28 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrettConnor View Post

Like their own company name, TomTom seems to be offering a lot of redundancy with the navigation hardware.

As I see it:

Speaker. iPhone's got one.
Microphone. Believe all phones have one.
Enhanced GPS Antenna. Noone's sure if this is needed to get a good signal.
Car Charger. Would think many/most iPhone owners already have one.
FM Transmitter. Would think many/most iPhone owners have some kind of solution already.
Mounting Bracket. Definitely needed, but it could be a simple piece of plastic.

An it-does-it-all accessory, whether you want all those features or not. Hopefully not priced to match. Can see the wisdom of a louder speaker for turn-by-turn, and the bracket is a must-have.

Speaker: May not be loud enough while driving. The speaker on the iPhone is quite small. It improved a lot from the first to the second model, but still not a replacement for a loud speaker.

Microphone: They do, but like the speaker this can be better, perhaps even cancel out road noise.

Enhance GPS Antenna: Its quite simple to add and since your iPhones antenna is very limited this helps, especially if you are in an area where it cant lock on easily.

Car Charger: Perhaps people have one, but that plugs into the iPhones 30-pin connector and nothing else can plug into it. Plus, the cord probably isnt long enough to comfortably reach from all cig lighters to windshields.

FM Transmitter: Id wager this is less common than the car charger and some have chargers built in, but the same issue remains. Nice to have it built in. Id also like to see an Antenna passthrough, USB in and/or 3.5mm input option, too.

Mounting Bracket: Im not sure what you mean by a simple piece of plastic. Sure you could rig something, but having a nice suction and a portrait to landscape swivel with a place to plug in your other connections into the docking station so your iPhone can travel with you easily when you exit the vehicle is nice.

Im very happy for this device and paying as much for the maps and accessories as I would for a stand alone GPS doesnt seem unreasonable. Sure, they save money by not having to make the device itself, but that device is so cheap and limited while the iPhone has a lot of potential for these companies, and thenthere are new costs associated with the iPhone side that I would call it a wash and be fine with it.
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post #29 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by satchmo View Post

Once prices reach the $100 mark, you're better off buying a standalone.

I disagree. That's the whole point of the iPhone App - to avoid a secondary device. Why deal with taking the GPS unit in and out of the car AND carrying your cell phone?

A) - $100+ for standalone unit & dock, plus complicated software updates.
B) - $100+ for App w/dock, with AppStore updates.

I'm goin with B
post #30 of 57
I've already got an Alpine iPod adapter for my car. I'm really hoping that this will work with the TomTom software and allow the voice feedback to work over the same connection... It'd be a shame to have to use FM instead.
post #31 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by GTL215 View Post

I disagree. That's the whole point of the iPhone App - to avoid a secondary device. Why deal with taking the GPS unit in and out of the car AND carrying your cell phone?

A) - $100+ for standalone unit & dock, plus complicated software updates.
B) - $100+ for App w/dock, with AppStore updates.

I'm goin with B

Im with you. I think a TomTom GPS dock just like this was the first thing I thought of back in March when the API was announced. Convenience is a powerful marketing tool. Ill probably buy the first one available.

Plus, now that there will be so many mapping options on the same HW and the HW is much faster and with higher resolutions these companies have more options to improve the maps and more competition to force them to stay relevant.
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post #32 of 57
Wow that sucks Garmin has hands down the best map/features.

Also pretty stupid of them, Nuvi phone will be a joke, and a complete flop, I mean I cant see any reason it will be better than any smart phone option, or be able to be priced competitively. So if they are not designing software for the iPhone or BB they will wind up losing out big to Tom Tom and Navigon, and appear to be committing fiscal suicide in probably the strongest growth area in their industry.
post #33 of 57
Garmin is going no where.

They make buckets on money on their standalone units, more on their updates (70 bucks for one time, 120 for lifetime)...plus they are diversifying into Golf GPS which is now a huge market as well.

I have a nuvi 250W and it's good...not a fan about paying for an update though.

The TomTom's accuracy was always flawed; now they are using the same maps as Garmin it's better, but still way worse than Garmin.

I agree Garmin should of never pigeon-holed themselves into the Google / ASUS relationship...Garmin will be fine.
post #34 of 57
I dunno. I think that there are an array of companies that make small, hand held devices with modest computational power and some kind of display that might need to be rethinking the business plan right about now.

But GPS is a killer app for something like the iPhone, and I think it's going to get increasingly difficult for an outfit like Garmin to continue to convince people that anyone needs their proprietary, expensive hardware that does just one thing.

For instance, can anyone explain to me why I would want to drop $200 for a Nüvi 1200 when I can get pretty much all that in an app? And even if the app is sort of pricey, isn't it much nicer to have my GPS in a thing that I have on my person and does a lot of other stuff instead of yet another box to keep charged and unstolen?

I guess if Garmin really is "the best" in terms of accuracy there may be some motivation there, but surely Tom Tom isn't actually "bad"?
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post #35 of 57
I'd like to know if the TomTom adapter will let me use my iPod Touch for GPS while I'm driving since it doesn't have GPS at all.
post #36 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by zener42 View Post

I'd like to know if the TomTom adapter will let me use my iPod Touch for GPS while I'm driving since it doesn't have GPS at all.

There would appear to be a market for it. Even their current docking system would work. All thy would hbe to do is add a GPS radio thy connects to the dock and update the app to read from it. With the 30-pin connector supporting USB and the API open to developers there really is little they can't do.
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post #37 of 57
I've used Garmins, TomToms, and Navigons, and the best of the best in my opinion are the Navigons, so I'm very happy to see that Navigon will be making an iPhone app. Everyone always claims Garmin is the best, but ever since I purchased a Navigon, I'd never go back to Garmin.
post #38 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorBenway View Post


and re:Good bye Garmin, wasn't nice meeting ya.

Right - they're going to go out of business because a of product - that isn't released yet - is going to kill them - somehow. Wonder if they sell anything else in the meantime currently? Ya know, I think they do sell something right now in fact. A lot of them too. Did you miss that because of your medical pot prescription?

I was speaking at a personal level, I doubt I will buy something from them again or pay to upgrade their maps on my existing Navman which is getting pretty old now, when I can use an alternative on one of my iPhone's.

I can even make use of the Navman mini USB car charger to charge my iPhone spare battery.

As to the impact this has on Garmin, that depends on how many people think like me.
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post #39 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by DoctorBenway View Post


Did you think Microsoft was going to go under because of the Zune? Was this before or after your 5th bong rip cleared?

You're comparing Garmin to Microsoft? Maybe you should put down the shot glass.
post #40 of 57
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

There would appear to be a market for it. Even their current docking system would work. All thy would hbe to do is add a GPS radio thy connects to the dock and update the app to read from it. With the 30-pin connector supporting USB and the API open to developers there really is little they can't do.

I was thinking the same thing. Thanks for you reply.
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