By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
Cobra plans a "big-screen" portable GPS device and a derivative version with a database of data that would be particularly useful for truck drivers.
It would feature a 5-inch color screen, one of the largest screens in the PND market.
Although Cobra did not offer release dates for the new products, it said the earliest shipping date for the truck-driver model would be in the fourth quarter. Cobra is waiting for TeleAtlas software that would offer data for truckers, the company said during a recent financial call.
Offering niche PND products is one way to avoid competing strictly on price in a market in which competition is getting sharper and prices are continually falling, the company pointed out.
President and CEO Jim Bazet said he believes the PND industry is heading for a shakeout in three or four years. "Three years ago, there were 25 to 35 suppliers in GPS, and that has increased to 175 at the last CES that claim to have GPS. There's not that much shelf space available," he said.
Cobra is also preparing March shipments of the NavOne 2100 PND with 3.5-inch screen, a compare-routes feature to choose between two routes and a red-light camera locator at $299. The unit will also offer optional real-time traffic for an additional $79.
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