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TeleNav To Offer iPhone 3G GPS

Sunnyvale, Calif. — Pitting the new Apple iPhone 3G against personal navigation devices (PNDs), TeleNav said it is developing a turn-by-turn GPS application for the new iPhone that went on sale in more than 20 countries today.

The iPhone 3G offers GPS capability but only limited navigation function because it doesn’t supply voice cues for turn-by-turn directions.

TeleNav said its software, to be released at an undisclosed date, will offer true voice-driven turn-by-turn directions, rerouting and some traffic alerts, with a user interface similar to that of a PND.

Although the new Apple Apps store offers several new GPS applications for the iPhone 3G, they mainly add points of interest, or provide information on local transportation or offer social networking to find friends that are nearby.

According to earlier reports, Apple included a clause in its contract with software developers that disallowed any new PND-like software for the iPhone 3G. But Yankee Group senior analyst Josh Martin noted, “Obviously, Apple can make special dispensations for any company they choose.”

TeleNav would not comment on special permission from Apple for its software.

Martin said eventually, the iPhone 3G with TeleNav software could impact sales of personal navigation devices, particularly with its large screen and its other capabilities. These include cellular HSDPA offering Internet and email access twice as fast as the original iPhone and Wi-Fi access.