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Magellan Launches New GPS

9/12/2006 11:46:00 AM Eastern

San Dimas, Calif. — Fresh from its sale by Thales to Shah Capital Partners, Magellan is launching its next round of GPS devices.

The new lineup brings its entry-level price down to $399 and offers combined automobile/outdoor hiking devices at the high end.

The RoadMate 2000 is the company’s new low-end piece with a $399 suggested retail price. The pocket-sized unit has a 3.5-inch screen, built-in maps of the 48 contiguous states and 1.5 million points of interest. It also offers a SmartDetour feature that automatically prompts the user to reroute when traffic is slowed or stopped on major roads. The RoadMate 2000 is expected to ship this month.

It will be joined in October by the water-resistant RoadMate 2200 which adds a real-time traffic option and which can be upgraded with an SD card to offer outdoor and hiking navigation with topographical maps. Magellan claims the RoadMate 2200 offers best-in-class battery life of up to eight hours. It includes maps of the full United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, and embeds an MP3 player and picture viewer. The unit announces street names for the next turn and has a rugged chassis at a suggested retail price of $499.

Capping the trio is the RoadMate 2500T Traveler, called a CrossoverGPS, that is IPX4-waterproof, and built for use while driving as well as outdoors. It has the same features of the 2200 plus it includes topographic contour maps of the lower 48 states. It is expected to ship in December at $549, including a rubberized jacket.

Magellan, previously known as Thales Navigation was sold to Shah Capital in a deal finalized last month for $170 million plus considerations.

Although Magellan is typically ranked as the No. 3 brand in GPS, the company said it disputes NPD’s rankings which place Magellan at a 14.2 percent share of United Sales sales to consumers compared with Garmin’s 47.8 percent and TomTom’s 25.2 percent share (from March through May in sales to consumers). Magellan claims it is the No. 2 brand with about 29 percent market share, as NPD does not track sales in RadioShack, Wal-Mart and warehouse clubs.

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