New York — Portable GPS is expected to be one of the hot items on Black Friday, with prices expected to fall to a low of $79 on some models.
Last year, the lowest price on a 24-hour door-buster special was $149 for a Mio C310x at Circuit City, but personal navigation devices (PNDs) from leading brands TomTom and Garmin commanded higher prices of $300 and up.
This year, older PND models from both Garmin and TomTom are expected to see new low-price floors on Black Friday.
At least two leading industry buyers told TWICE that the TomTom One will be available on special at $149.
The TomTom One (original edition) is currently selling in the $250 range at stores including Circuit City and P.C. Richard & Son, according to www.pricegrabber.com.
TomTom product management director Joaane Aliber said, “We will have holiday promotions, but what those are, I can’t say.”
Datavision, New York, said it will sell a new Pharos GPS 150 PND for $105 on Black Friday. The product, announced today with built in maps of the U.S. and 3.5-inch screen has a suggested retail price of $199.
One leading buyer said the Garmin c330 will be available on Black Friday for $149, as did several industry members.
Garmin said it does not comment on pricing. A spokesman noted, “We are obviously keeping a close eye on pricing within the market and we are prepared to do what we need to do. We think we have a great product lineup and price points going into Black Friday, but we’re nimble enough that if we need to shift any pricing we can do that.”
Black Friday pricing on PNDs from third-tier brands is expected to fall as low as $79 and $99, said about a dozen suppliers and retailers.
According to a www.bfads.net Web site Office Max will offer the Mio c220 at $99 and Pep Boys will offer a Mio product at $79 as well as the TomTom One at $139.
Mio would not comment on Black Friday pricing but said it will host Black Friday “parties” at 35 Circuit City locations across the country. These will include souvenir giveaways, product demos and snacks “to help people enjoy the wait for store openings,” said a spokesman.
Mio will host two “larger-scale” parties at the Paramus, N.J., and San Jose, Calif. (Almaden), Circuit City locations, which will include product demos and refreshments, he said.
PND prices have rapidly declined over the past few years. Two years ago, a typical price for a model with built-in maps was $600 to $900.
PND sales are expected to more than triple this year to 9 million units or higher, according to Mio sales and marketing senior director Kiyoshi Hamai.