By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Magellan edged out TomTom as the No. 2 GPS supplier in unit sales in the United States during the second quarter, according to The NPD Group, while on a global basis, Garmin overtook TomTom as the world leader, according to Canalys.
TomTom had been the worldwide GPS frontrunner for two years. But as GPS growth in the United States (where Garmin is market leader) continued to skyrocket, it catapulted Garmin to the top slot globally.
The United States rose to 26 percent of the global market, up from 15 percent a year ago, said Canalys.
In the United States, NPD estimated Garmin's share from April to June in sales to consumers at 49 percent in units and 55 percent in dollars. Magellan's share was 21 percent in units and 15 percent in dollars while TomTom's share was 20 percent in units and 18 percent in dollars.
Worldwide, the portable GPS market more than doubled during the second quarter of 2007 as more than 7.4 million mobile navigation devices shipped during the quarter, up 116 percent from the second quarter in 2006. More than 90 percent of these were personal navigation devices (PNDs), said Canalys.
Converged devices such as smartphones accounted for 6 percent of the total market.
Europe still represents the majority of device shipments — around 60 percent for the quarter, with healthy growth of 82 percent over the period a year ago. But the U.S. market grew by almost 300 percent during that time, said Canalys.
"It is difficult to point to another part of the high-tech industry that is so dynamic and growing as fast as the navigation sector," said Chris Jones, Canalys VP and principal analyst. "The landscape of the navigation industry is changing before our eyes," Jones added, claiming, "Nokia is already starting to make its presence felt with its GPS-enabled handsets, such as the N95, and its navigation solution packages. It is already poised just outside the top five after relatively little time in the market."
Converged devices such as smartphones "have the potential to disrupt the market for the PND vendors who currently account for 90 percent of the unit volume. PND vendors are moving into connected devices themselves, to facilitate the upload of user-generated location content, map updates, traffic information, etc. But moving to connected devices brings lots of challenges around channels and overcoming users' reluctance to subscribe to data services," the report said.
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