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TomTom Expands to ‘White-Label’ GPS

 ‘s-Hertogenbosch, the Netherlands — TomTom said it is the process of transforming the company from mainly a portable navigation device (PND) maker to a “broader based group” that will offer advanced map and navigation tools as a “white-label” platform for other companies.

During a conference call with analysts, the company said it is aiming to create assets that are content based and recurring in nature and that will make use of its map data, traffic information and speed profiles, said Harold Goddijn, TomTom CEO. 

As a result, TomTom said it will reduce spending in PNDs and increase spending on content.

This strategy contrasts with that of TomTom’s chief rival Garmin, which is planning to move into the smartphone market with a line of GPS/smartphones produced in an alliance was AsusTek. Garmin also announced quarterly earnings this week. 

Tom Tom also offered information on its advanced PNDs available in Europe under its HD Traffic program where customer driving speeds are monitored to create traffic reports. The company said in The Netherlands, where the service has been available for a year, 25 percent of HD Traffic customers have renewed their subscriptions to the service. Currently TomTom has 130,000 HD Traffic customers.

As reported earlier today, TomTom announced a significant loss of $1.3 billion in its fourth-quarter 2008 results today, reflecting a write-down on the acquisition of map maker Tele Atlas last year for $4.3 billion.