By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TeleNav, the behind-the-scenes provider of navigation services to cellphones, launched its first portable GPS device, throwing its hat in the ring of Internet-connected personal navigation devices (PNDs) just as Dash Navigation is exiting that segment (see story at right).
TeleNav's PND, called the Shotgun, is available for $299 at TeleNav.com and might be offered to retailers in the future.
Shotgun offers a live local Internet search powered by a TeleNav search engine, and it provides real-time traffic updates and local gas-price listings. TeleNav also hopes to add weather updates in the near term.
Service fees are $129 for the first year, $239 for two years, or $11.99/month. The first three months of service are free.
With Dash's exit, only TeleNav and BestBuy (under the Insignia brand) currently sell an Internet-connected PND. Notably absent from the sector are leading PND brands, who claim that consumers are in no mood to spend money on service fees or high-end PNDs at the moment.
TeleNav, however, said it is not relying on mainstream consumers and is aiming instead at the business traveler who is a heavy PND user, said senior marketing director Sal Dhanani. "True, the consumer market is very price-sensitive, but this device for us is targeted not at the consumer but at the active business traveler who travels a lot and really relies on their device throughout the day."
The Shotgun will not offer "traffic probe" capability at first, but TeleNav might add the feature in the future.
TeleNav is also offering its connected-PND platform to other suppliers under a private-label agreement.
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