By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Uniden America, supplier of wireless communications products, will enter the popular portable GPS market this November with a line of products under the Uniden MapTrax brand.
The products will join the company's selection of cordless phones, VoIP phones, marine electronics, business phones, two-way radios, scanners and CD radios.
The company plans an extensive GPS lineup starting in the low priced segment, now at street prices of $349 to $399, said Rex Holloway, senior director of product development.
Uniden will ship two models in November, followed by two in early spring 2007 and two or three additional units later in 2007. The company plans to focus on screen display and ease of use and claims it will offer best-of-class features, including WAAS-enabled units with 400 MHz processors. The units will offer TFT touch screens with automatic day-to-night adjustment in screen sizes ranging from 3.5- to 7-inches for the full line through 2007. The 7-inch size will be among the largest in the segment and is aimed at RVs and other special uses. The products will also offer 2MB of embedded flash storage for maps of North America.
Spring models will include a Bluetooth unit that will also announce street names.
The GPS market is already crowded, with about 40 companies offering products and three companies — Garmin, TomTom and Magellan, accounting for more than 80 percent of sales, according to industry estimates.
There is room for Uniden, however, in part because the market will double in size in 2007, Holloway said. In addition, he said in referring to the top three brands, “These are well-known in the retail market and in the manufacturing community, but to a consumer, these are not brands that are so dominant they can't be challenged.” The company notes that it is a leader in cordless phones despite the many other key brands in that segment.
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