Opening-Price Opening Salvos

By Amy Gilroy On Aug 7 2006 - 6:00am

Portable GPS devices from such leading brands as Garmin, TomTom and Magellan are currently available at suggested retails starting at $499 with street prices dipping to $330 on the Internet. Real-time traffic units sell for upwards of $699 with included traffic-data receivers, said suppliers and retailers.

New players entering the market, however, plan opening prices of a suggested $399. Other companies will offer step-up models in the coming months.

Here's what's new:

  • Cobra's NavOne 2500, expected to be one of the first incorporating Wi-Fi capability, is due in September at a suggested $499. Details weren't disclosed.

  • TeleType's WorldNav 3100 GPS, which includes preloaded maps of the United States and Puerto Rico, features a video and MP3 player. Video is stored on an SD card rather than internal memory.

TeleType, which also provides customized GPS Pocket PC and laptop solutions, entered the consumer market 18 months ago. Its products are currently available through online retailers Amazon and Newegg.

The WorldNav 3100 began shipping in July at a suggested $399 and $449 for a premium version with 12 million points of interest.

  • Audiovox's first line of portables, due later this fall, features an entry-level model under the Audiovox name that will be complemented by two Jensen-branded models. The Jensen models incorporate a slot for a new XM mini tuner, formerly called a Passport tuner.

The Audiovox NVX 216 will not include XM option but will feature preloaded maps at a suggested $399. The top-line Jensen NVXM 1000 will offer a personal media player as well as XM and real-time traffic at a suggested $599.

  • Whistler's WGPX-550, the company's first portable GPS, features preloaded roadmaps. The new unit also offers a touch screen, voice directions and 1 million points of interest plus a picture viewer and MP3 player at a suggested $599 and expected street price of $399.

Within 30 days, Whistler expects to ship a similar unit with a faster processor and non-glare screen, but without MP3 or picture viewer, at a suggested $599. It's the WGPX-635.

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