By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
TomTom will turn up the competitive heat in the portable navigation device (PND) market in the second quarter when it begins bundling free lifetime map updates and free lifetime traffic data with a variety of its models.
Some models will get free lifetime map updates, others will get free lifetime traffic, and some models will get both, said market development VP Tom Murray.
No other PND supplier currently offers free lifetime map updates, which generally cost anywhere from $39 to $69, Murray said. TomTom updates its maps quarterly.
Under the new strategy, TomTom will offer free lifetime traffic updates for the first time, but it's not the first PND maker to offer free lifetime traffic updates, Murray said.
TomTom, which owns digital map maker TeleAtlas, will decide which PNDs get one or both features after discussions with its retailers.
To provide lifetime traffic data, TomTom will build an RDS/TMC receiver into the power cords that will come with select PNDs. The traffic updates are delivers via FM RDS broadcasts from Clear Channel radio stations in 93 U.S. and Canadian markets.
Almost all of TomTom's current PNDs are traffic-ready, requiring an add-on RDS/TMS receiver to get traffic updates.
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