San Antonio — The Progressive Retailers Organization was at the Westin La Cantera Hill Coun
Harman Kardon and Sanyo are adding their names to the growing list of suppliers pushing portable GPS, with Sanyo now shipping one of the lowest priced models to offer a 4-inch screen and Bluetooth.
Both companies are overseas leaders in navigation, with HK claiming to be the No. 3 vendor in Europe and Sanyo claiming the No. 1 spot in portable navigation in Japan.
Sanyo's new NVM-4030 is the company's second recent GPS model, the first being a portable DVD player combo introduced last year. The NVM-4030 is the company's first dedicated portable GPS and it is one of the first on the market to break $400 for a 4-inch screen and Bluetooth for hands-free calling with a cellphone. The unit is being sold initially at Wal-Mart, Fry's and Amazon.com. It ships with a 1GB SD card preloaded with maps of the continental United States. It also has MP3/WMA playback and 1.4 million points of interest at $399 suggested retail. Sanyo said it will offer a family of portable GPS players in the future.
HK's first portable GPS in the United States is the Guide + Play GPS-500 with a 4-inch screen and a built-in upscale media player. The unit offers an advanced interface that sorts music by artist, title, genre and album like an iPod; a feature which is not common to other multimedia GPS devices, said Chris Dragon director of brand marketing.
The Guide + Play can also play back MPEG-4 and WMV video files.
It will be the first of a family of portable navigation products to follow next year, said Dragon.
The unit has a WQVGA screen, built-in maps of the U.S. and Canada and it accepts a 4GB SD cards. It has a built-in rechargeable lithium ion battery that provides a 5-hour charge. The unit, measuring 0.75 inches thick, does not have a dedicated pedestrian mode, but can be used for walking. Suggested retail is $499 with shipping planned for January.