Portable GPS will be a hot item on Black Friday, with prices expected to fall to a low of $79 on select models from third- and second-tier suppliers, and down to $149 on older models from top-tier suppliers.
Last year's lowest Black Friday price was $149 on a 24-hour door-buster special by Circuit City on the Mio C310x. That compared with prices of $300 and up at the time on personal navigation devices (PNDs) from leading brands TomTom and Garmin.
This year, older PND models from Garmin and TomTom are expected to hit new low prices on Black Friday. At least two major retail buyers told TWICE that the original TomTom One will be available on special at $149, whereas it currently sells in the $250 range at chains including Circuit City and P.C. Richard & Son.
TomTom product management director Joanne Aliber wouldn't comment on its holiday promotion plans.
Datavision of New York City said it will sell a new Pharos GPS 150 PND for $105 on Black Friday. The product began shipping this month with built-in maps of the United States and 3.5-inch screen, at a suggested retail of $199.
Navigon said it will sell its Model 2100, which announces street names, on Black Friday with a free lifetime real-time traffic subscription for $179 through Radio Shack and Staples. The product typically carries a suggested retail of $249 without real-time traffic.
One retail buyer said Garmin's c330 will be available on Black Friday for $149, as did several marketers, but Garmin wouldn't comment on pricing plans. "We are obviously keeping a close eye on pricing within the market, and we are prepared to do what we need to do," a spokesperson said.
Black Friday pricing on PNDs from third-tier brands is expected to fall as low as $79 and $99, according to almost a dozen suppliers and retailers.
Mio would not comment on Black Friday pricing but said it will host Black Friday "parties" at 35 Circuit City locations across the country. They will include souvenir giveaways, product demos and snacks "to help people enjoy the wait for store openings," said a spokesman. Mio will also host two "larger-scale" parties at the Paramus, N.J., and San Jose, Calif., Circuit City locations, where product demos and refreshments will be served, he said.
PND prices have rapidly declined over the past few years. Two years ago, typical prices for models with built-in maps ranged from $600 to $900. PND sales are expected to more than triple this year to 9 million units or higher, said Kiyoshi Hamai, Mio sales and marketing senior director.