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Cobra To Ship 5-Inch PND

Chicago — Cobra said it will start offering a portable GPS device with a 5-inch screen — which would represent one of the largest screens in a personal navigation device (PND) — as well as a derivative of that product for truck drivers.

Cobra did not offer release dates for the new products, but said the earliest shipping date for the truck-driver model would be in the fourth quarter, as Cobra is waiting for new software from TeleAtlas that would offer data especially useful to truckers.

Cobra said that offering niche PND products is one way to avoid competing strictly on price in PNDs, where competition is getting sharper and prices are continually falling.

President/CEO Jim Bazet said he believes the PND industry is heading for shakeout in three or four years. “Three years ago there were 25 to 35 suppliers in GPS and that has increased to 175 at the last CES that claim to have GPS. There’s not that much shelf space available,” he said.

Cobra is also preparing to ship next month a NavOne 2100 PND with a3.5-inch screen, a compare-routes feature to choose from two routes, and a new speed and red-light camera locator at $299. The unit will also offer optional real-time traffic for an additional $79.