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ABI: PNDs Will Rebound In 2010

London — The North American and worldwide personal navigation device (PND) market will remain flat in 2009, but growth will resume in 2010, predicted ABI Research.

Worldwide sales of PNDs will remain at 39 million units this year as the market hits a wall due to the economy and lack of consumer demand for “connected” PNDs offering real-time traffic or Internet access.

“While the economic downturn is definitely a major factor, it is not the only reason why the PND segment is struggling. The anticipated growth of connected PNDs has failed to materialize due both to a lack of compelling services and to inadequate business models,” said ABI Research practice director Dominique Bonte.

At the same time, navigation on cellular phones is gaining momentum. However, the PND market has still not reached expected penetration levels, and so the market will see growth in 2010, said ABI. At that time, “innovative PND vendors such as TomTom which have invested in connected navigation services will finally reap the benefits,” and price erosion will stabilize. But in the longer term, PNDs will face increasing competition from new form factors such as mobile Internet devices (MIDs); portable media players; and multipurpose, large-screen, connected portable devices, said ABI.