Successful iPhone app helps TomTom withstand free competitors

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
Personal navigation company TomTom this week reported a profit in its fourth fiscal quarter of 2009, thanks in part to more than 100,000 sales of its popular GPS navigation application for the iPhone.



The iPhone application crossed the six-figure mark in terms of sales in less than six months on the market. Last quarter, the company also released its car kit, featuring a built-in GPS receiver, loud speaker and microphone.



TomTom's profit of 73 million euros ($99 million) was an improvement from a year ago, when the device maker lost 989 million euros on high debt levels from the purchase of mapmaker Tele Atlas for 2.9 billion euros. The positive quarter also after both Google and Nokia announced they would provide free navigation to customers via their smartphone handsets.



"The industry we operate in is going through substantial change," said TomTom CEO Harold Goddijn. "Increasingly, digital maps are being deployed in the battle for mobile phone screens, either via smartphone or mobile Internet applications."



"We see limited impact from this on our current revenue streams from PNDs, automotive and fleet management. The demand for applications that use location will grow across all markets and all geographies, and we see new opportunities for partnerships and business models, particularly in the mobile space."



The TomTom application was first released for iPhone in August of last year. An update issued in November added support for the GPS receiver-less iPod touch and first-generation iPhone. Both devices can gain GPS functionality with the purchase of the TomTom car kit.







Originally released for $99, TomTom dropped the price of its iPhone application with maps of the U.S. and Canada to $79.99. A U.S.-only map costs $59.99, and numerous other international options are available.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 50
    A positive message for app developers / software companies and even companies that are used to selling hardware and find that with the iPhone / iTouch and soon to be iPad hardware platforms they can sell versions of their product in a software only version and turn a profit.
  • Reply 2 of 50
    ilogicilogic Posts: 298member
    This is because Apple provides a valuable platform for both developers and users. With the iPad, the best is yet to come. Eventually
  • Reply 3 of 50
    A word of warning!



    No matter what the condition of the road appears to be, if a GPS takes you on dirt road, avoid it all costs if possible.



    On my many travels as a photographer, the dirt roads are dirt for a reason, they are not stable enough to be paved and are changed so much the GPS isn't updated enough to cover them. You get out there and then try to get around and your lost, sometimes the GPS won't even plot the way BACK!



    I spent the night in my SUV stuck up to my axle in spring mud, 26 miles from nowhere on a road that turned into a snowmobile trail in Maine and another time 14 miles out in Georgia behind a washout.



    Avoid the dirt roads. Trust me.







    And another thing, sometimes the shortest route off the main route really isn't faster, because there is lights and traffic. Plus GPS don't work to well around tall buildings and airports, so if your going around there, write down the instructions because the GPS is going haywire. Other than that, they work great, provided you keep it updated.
  • Reply 4 of 50
    galleygalley Posts: 971member
    Or you may be in North Dakota, where paved roads are a rarity.
  • Reply 5 of 50
    wizard69wizard69 Posts: 12,902member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Woohoo! View Post


    A word of warning!



    No matter what the condition of the road appears to be, if a GPS takes you on dirt road, avoid it all costs if possible.



    On my many travels as a photographer, the dirt roads are dirt for a reason, they are not stable enough to be paved and are changed so much the GPS isn't updated enough to cover them. You get out there and then try to get around and your lost, sometimes the GPS won't even plot the way BACK!



    I spent the night in my SUV stuck up to my axle in spring mud, 26 miles from nowhere on a road that turned into a snowmobile trail in Maine and another time 14 miles out in Georgia behind a washout.



    Avoid the dirt roads. Trust me.



    Suck it up get stuck is half the fun. Besides the most interesting places to go are the ones where the hardier variants of mankind venture. Cities are for wimps.



    Dave
  • Reply 6 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    Personal navigation company TomTom this week reported a profit in its fourth fiscal quarter of 2009, thanks in part to more than 100,000 sales of its popular GPS navigation application for the iPhone.



    I was going to hold off for a while until more reviews came in, but I got the app and car kit for Xmas.



    Absolutely fantastic products. Extremely accurate. Wouldn't trade it for the world.



    Combine with Dragon Dictation and I can dictate an email on the move.



    They recently outlawed using hand-held cell phones in cars here. So I plug in my iPhone every time I get in my car. And it is a simple transfer to our second vehicle. Actually amazed at the Bluetooth speaker. Best handsfree I ever had. Got rid of the headsets.
  • Reply 7 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


    Besides the most interesting places to go are the ones where the hardier variants of mankind venture. Cities are for wimps.



    Dave





    Oh I agree, just be prepared for anything if a GPS takes you on dirt road, that's all.
  • Reply 8 of 50
    What a 'sympathetic bunch' we are today....



    I used to have an F350 Dually (truck) and it would get stuck on wet grass...I always carried a shovel and two pieces of carpet to get unstuck with!



    Now I own a 4WD Jeep Wrangler and never get stuck! Mainly, because I don't go places where you need 4WD-if that makes any sense!



    Next payday I'm buying the TomTom App...



    Anyone know if you can create a route on you Mac desktop with multiple stops and then sync with your iPhone? Or does every address have to by 'inputted' using the iPhone's keyboard?



    Thanks in advance!
  • Reply 9 of 50
    FYI: Jason Snell/MacWorld did a video podcast of a few GPS apps for the iPhone and he liked TomTom's the best....



    http://www.macworld.com/article/1424...odcast122.html
  • Reply 10 of 50
    Love the TomTom app!

    Returned the car kit.



    One critical flaw...it won't work with 95% of iPhone cases.

    I didn't want to take my phone in and out of the case every time I wanted to use it.



    Other than that it is an awesome piece of hardware.

    I hope they fix that issue in a future revision.
  • Reply 11 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    What a 'sympathetic bunch' we are today....



    I used to have an F350 Dually (truck) and it would get stuck on wet grass...I always carried a shovel and two pieces of carpet to get unstuck with!



    Now I own a 4WD Jeep Wrangler and never get stuck! Mainly, because I don't go places where you need 4WD-if that makes any sense!



    Next payday I'm buying the TomTom App...



    Anyone know if you can create a route on you Mac desktop with multiple stops and then sync with your iPhone? Or does every address have to by 'inputted' using the iPhone's keyboard?



    Thanks in advance!



    I create contacts for my various stops on my Mac.

    These contacts get synced wirelessly via MobileMe before I can walk from my desk to my car.

    Once in the car it takes 20-30 seconds to set up my first destination.

    Once I reach a destination, it only takes a few seconds to punch in my next destination.
  • Reply 12 of 50
    This is a huge message to hardware manufacturers and App Developers out there....the iPhone can and will replace many 'one-trick ponies' in hardware....and if your software is good you can charge $65 and get it! Everything doesn't have to be free or $0.99! Some of the Golf apps and bird watcher Apps come to mind where the premium ones charge and get $20-$60 per app.



  • Reply 13 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    I create contacts for my various stops on my Mac.

    These contacts get synced wirelessly via MobileMe before I can walk from my desk to my car.

    Once in the car it takes 20-30 seconds to set up my first destination.

    Once I reach a destination, it only takes a few seconds to punch in my next destination.



    Thanks so much, Johnny....TomTom it is!
  • Reply 14 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Abster2core View Post


    I was going to hold off for a while until more reviews came in, but I got the app and car kit for Xmas.



    Absolutely fantastic products. Extremely accurate. Wouldn't trade it for the world.



    Combine with Dragon Dictation and I can dictate an email on the move.



    They recently outlawed using hand-held cell phones in cars here. So I plug in my iPhone every time I get in my car. And it is a simple transfer to our second vehicle. Actually amazed at the Bluetooth speaker. Best handsfree I ever had. Got rid of the headsets.



    The TomTom app(w/o car kit) works best in the suburbs.

    In urban areas where streets are very close together the TomTom app can have difficulty getting a fix.

    It also struggles when on highways in urban areas when traveling fast.



    With the car kit it has no trouble what so ever due to the larger GPS chips in the cradle.
  • Reply 15 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    The TomTom app(w/o car kit) works best in the suburbs.

    In urban areas where streets are very close together the TomTom app can have difficulty getting a fix.

    It also struggles when on highways in urban areas when traveling fast.



    With the car kit it has no trouble what so ever due to the larger GPS chips in the cradle.





    The standalone TomTom has the similar problems you mentioned.



    Perhaps the issue was resolved in the cradle versions.
  • Reply 16 of 50
    hope Garmin takes note and comes to its senses.
  • Reply 17 of 50
    paxmanpaxman Posts: 4,616member
    I wonder how much Navigon has made from their App. I haven't tried TomTom but I can vouch for Navigon. Awesome app.
  • Reply 18 of 50
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Johnny Mozzarella View Post


    The TomTom app(w/o car kit) works best in the suburbs.

    In urban areas where streets are very close together the TomTom app can have difficulty getting a fix.

    It also struggles when on highways in urban areas when traveling fast.



    With the car kit it has no trouble what so ever due to the larger GPS chips in the cradle.



    Having experienced a lot of marine nav systems from Loran, radar and then GPS, I had resolved not to purchase a GPS app for my iPhone until more reviews came in. Great spouse and sister-in-law made the decision easy for me.



    Testing with and without the car kit, definitely swayed me to keep the car kit. Speed, accuracy, hands-free calling, charging, and it looks and feels just beautiful.A



    As for the fact you can't really use the car kit with an cased iPhone, it doesn't bother me?don't use one at all. In fact, I was looking at the Magellan. It is touted to fit most hard shell cases or silicon skins. However, IMO, it doesn't look as nice. But I did hear that you can use the TomTom iPhone app in it.
  • Reply 19 of 50
    100'000 copies? how is this number impressive?

    Nokia's free Ovi Maps was downloaded 1.4 million times in the first week alone. That's impressive. Nokia sells about 100 million smartphones a year: guess what? All of them will come preloaded with free navigation. How is TomTom gonna survive that?
  • Reply 20 of 50
    neilmneilm Posts: 658member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by christopher126 View Post


    FYI: Jason Snell/MacWorld did a video podcast of a few GPS apps for the iPhone and he liked TomTom's the best....



    http://www.macworld.com/article/1424...odcast122.html



    However since that comparo dates from Aug 2009 it doesn't cover the current versions of any of the nav apps, and so is essentially useless at this point.
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