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PNDs Up 49%: Canalys

Reading, UK — Personal navigation device (PND) shipments in North America grew by 49 percent in the third quarter, according to research firm Canalys.

In Europe, (including the Middle East and Africa), PND sales declined by 6 percent as smartphone shipments with built-in GPS soared to 10.4 million units for the third quarter, up from 4.7 million during the same period a year earlier.

Canalys VP and principal analyst Chris Jones said, “The threat to PND vendors is rising quickly,” as smartphones increasingly offer built-in GPS.

The risk to PND vendors is likely to intensify as the economy forces consumers to cut back on discretionary purchases, said Canalys. “We can’t live without our mobile phones, and if they have satellite navigation built in, it is inevitable that this will stop some from buying a PND. Those who have not yet bought their first PND are likely to be more ‘occasional’ sat-nav users for whom a phone-based solution will usually be good enough. Existing PND owners will need to be given even better reasons to upgrade than were needed before,” added Canalys analyst Caroline Chow.