By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
LG Electronics entered the U.S. GPS market with three personal navigation devices, and a fourth model is on the way at the high end.
The initial trio, all with MP3 players and photo viewers, are available at Circuit City, Crutchfield and other stores and are topped by the LN740 at an expected retail of $449. It features 4-inch screen and built-in real-time traffic receiver using the Navteq traffic service. The LN740 announces street names for upcoming turns.
All models come preloaded with maps of the United States and Canada, and all feature SD card slots.
The $349 LN735 features a 3.5-inch screen and also announces the street names of upcoming turns. The basic LN730 with 3.5-inch screen features 1.7 million points of interest at $299.
A fourth model priced at more than $500 is expected to be available in the second half with 4.3-inch screen and Bluetooth.
During the past two years, LG entered the portable navigation market in Europe and Asia, and the company has been an OEM telematics supplier to major automakers, said LG product development manager Aaron Dew.
Although somewhat late to the party in the U.S., LG said it expects to be a key player. PND sales to consumers in the U.S. will surge from about 3 million units to 5.5 or 6 million units this year, Dew said. "I think the entrance of LG as well as some other mainstream consumer electronics companies really demonstrates that this market is moving beyond the early adopter market dominated by niche players and is moving to mainstream consumers who are looking for a name they know," he said.
Despite the entry of brands such as Sony and Pioneer in the marketplace, Garmin and Tom Tom have retained or increased their market share, according to The NPD Group of Port Washington, N.Y. (See table).Retail-Level Share Of PND, In-Dash GPS
|Source: The NPD Group © TWICE 2007|
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