Car Electronics Briefs - Twice

Car Electronics Briefs

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Pioneer Ships Four New Connected Head Units

LONG BEACH, CALIF. – Pioneer began shipping connected in-dash navigation/receivers that connect to a subscription-based navigation service expected to be available in the spring.

The four navigation head units, priced from a suggested $750 to $1,400, connect to smartphones to access such connected services as traffic, local search, weather, gas prices and more. Information and icons are overlaid on the existing map screen.

The company is also shipping a new $700 A/V receiver lacking navigation.

All are marketed under the Networked Entertainment eXperience (NEX) banner to denote models targeted to heavy smartphone users and featuring a new user interface.

Aamp Buys U.K.-Based Armour

CLEARWATER, FLA.— Aftermarket car-electronics accessory supplier Aamp of America completed the acquisition of U.K.-based Armour Automotive, marking Aamp’s sixth acquisition since the company was acquired by Audax Private Equity in November 2006.

Hampshire, U.K.-based Armour designs and distributes connectivity and audio products under its own brands for sale to vehicle makers and to aftermarket installers and retailers in the automotive, agricultural, and leisure markets under its own brands.

The acquisition “will help build Aamp into a global platform, expand our product offering into the European and OEM markets, and broaden our technical capabilities,” said Aamp CEO Ron Freeman.

Magellan Grows SmartGPS Line

SANTA CLARA, CALIF. — Magellan launched its latest Cloud-connected portable navigation device (PND), the SmartGPS 5390 at a suggested $229.

The device is the second PND in the company’s SmartGPS product lineup. The first model shipped last year at a suggested $249 and is now priced at a suggested $199.

The 5390 is available on the Magellan website and through HSN. It will be rolled out to additional retailers.

Magellan’s SmartGPS PNDs connect via Bluetooth to a cellphone or via Wi-Fi to a mobile hot spot to receive pushed location-based subscription-free content, including Yelp and Foursquare reviews and offers from nearby businesses.

The company also plans May availability of a Cloudconnected PND in its series of products for recreational vehicles. That product, the $349-suggested RoadMate RV9490T-LMB, comes with some of the Cloud-based services available to the SmartGPS PNDs, excluding Yelp and Foursquare.

Wilson Adds In-Car Cell Boosters

ST. GEORGE, UTAH — Wilson Electronics launched what it said are the first two in-car cellular-signal boosters certified to meet the technical standards required by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Both models boost the 2G, 3G and 4G signals of all four national carriers. The boosters operate in the U.S. 850MHz, 1,900MHz and 1.7/2.1GHz AWS bands as well as in bands 7 and 13 in the 700MHz spectrum. It doesn’t amplify the 2.5GHz-band used only by Sprint, which also operates in the 1.900MHz and 800MHz bands.

The $179-suggested Sleek 4G amplifies the signals of a phone placed in a cradle/booster/charger. The $399 Mobile 4G lacks cradle and charger, but its hideaway booster amplifies the signals of multiple phones in a car simultaneously with no physical connection.

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