San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Navman announced it is shipping this month a new low-cost portable navigation unit with built-in U.S. street level maps, which is one of the first to reach a suggested retail price of $499.99.
The new portable iCN 320 is a “pocket-sized” portable GPS navigation system with a high-resolution screen, rechargeable internal battery and new navigation software that allows users to access addresses by several methods.
Navman said that while other companies are focusing on offering added features such as real-time traffic and built-in MP3 players, Navman is concentrating on ease of use and affordability.
“The goal is to break the barrier in both price and ease of use,” said a spokesman.
Separately, portable GPS supplier TomTom, Concord, Mass., said that Best Buy recently began carrying its portable navigation products, and that the company is stepping up its efforts to gain market share in the United States.
TomTom's president Jocelyn Vigreux said the company will launch in the fourth quarter a “significant” TV, radio and print ad campaign. This follows its recent launch of the TomTom Go 700 portable with real-time traffic capability, the signing of Circuit City as a retail outlet in March, and a successful IPO in Europe this spring, Vigreux said.
“We are the leader in the portable navigation device market in Europe. We have well over 50 percent of the market. We would be unhappy with anything less than that in the U.S. We're not here to get the scraps but to take a large share of the market,” Vigreux said.