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PND, Cellphone Coexistence Seen

London — Cellphone-based navigation has been popular in the United States, where more than 4 million people subscribe to cellphone navigation service, but GPS-equipped cellphones will complement, rather than displace, sales of personal navigation devices (PNDs), which continue to exceed industry forecasts, an ABI Research study contended.

“PNDs remain the most user-friendly in-car navigation device,” ABI said. The PND market “remains characterized by a high rate of innovation, including real-time connectivity, multimedia functionality, and community and social-networking features, along with enhanced integration into the car environment,” ABI added.

Barriers such as the lack of GPS handsets, especially in Europe, “will have to be removed before cellphone-based location services can be adopted on a broader scale,” ABI noted.

Factory-installed in-dash navigation systems in vehicles will remain an important option for consumers, ABI also said. “While traditional, factory-installed in-car navigation systems remain expensive and are offered only as an option on mid- and high-end cars, their perfect integration into the car environment guarantees ease-of-use and safety,” said analyst Dominique Bonte.

Penetration rates of factory-installed navigation systems in the United States and Europe will increase gradually to 30 percent by 2012, reaching an annual volume of more than 10 million units, Bonte added.