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Mio Adds Real-Time Traffic

New York — Mio announced it will offer its first portable GPS device with real-time traffic in the United States and that it is switching its map provider from Navteq to Tele-Atlas.

Mio will deliver two new portable GPS products over the next six weeks that use preloaded Tele-Atlas maps, it said.

The model C710 comes with built-in traffic capability from Clear Channel Communications. It supports Bluetooth, has a built in MP3 player, SD card slot and a 3.5-inch touch screen. It also has 2GB of flash-memory storage and runs on lithium-ion batteries that can last up to 4.5 hours, Mio said.

A similar version without Bluetooth or real-time traffic is also expected to begin shipping this week, called the Mio C310. Suggested retail prices are $749 for the C710 and $649 for the C10.

Mio claims to be one of the top GPS providers overseas and, like TomTom, is making a bid for a top slot in the U.S. market, said product management and sales director Kiyoshi Hamai.

Mio is in “just a few storefronts at present” in the United States. It claims to be the fourth leading player in Europe and No. 2 globally, according to Hamai. He added, “We have plans to build a brand here in the U.S. and will use our resources wisely to do that.”