Concord, Mass. - TomTom is following through on a
it made at International CES to bundle lifetime map updates and lifetime traffic service with a variety of its portable navigation devices (PNDs).
Amazon has begun promoting five TomTom SKUs with one or both services included for the lifetime of the device. A total of 13 different hardware/service bundles priced from $189 to $319 are available from Amazon for preorder, with some bundles shipping to consumers on April 26 and others shipping on May 17.
Each service adds $30 to the price of the comparable unbundled TomTom SKU, but the bundled prices reflect a discount from the service prices when sold as options. Monthly traffic updates from the FM-delivered RDS-TMC traffic service, for example, normally cost $59.99/year. And the annual price of quarterly map updates normally costs $39.80 and more, depending on the age of maps already in the device and the maps included, TomTom said.
TomTom promises that other retailers will begin offering bundles sometime in April.
With the launches, TomTom is offering free lifetime traffic updates for the first time, although it's not the first PND maker to offer free lifetime traffic updates. PNDs with the bundled traffic service are sold with RDS-TMC receiver and antenna built into their cigarette-lighter adapter and power cord, respectively.
TomTom's unbundled traffic-ready PNDs require the purchase of an add-on RDS-TMC receiver and suction-cup-mounted antenna at $99, including a year of traffic service. When the year is up, the annual subscription price is $59.99.
Models bundled with one or both services are the 335, 340, 540, 740 Live, 350 Live and 540 World Traveler. With lifetime traffic service, the 335 costs $189 at Amazon and carries the 335T designation. With lifetime map updates, the 335 also costs $189 and carries the 335M designation. With both lifetime traffic and maps, the 335 retails for $219 and carries the 335TM designation.
Two models with cellular-based TomTom Live services are also available with bundled RDS-TMC service even though the Live services include traffic updates, a spokesman noted. The bundle gives consumers the option of using the RDS-TMC traffic service in case they don't plan to renew their $9.99/month Live subscription, which includes such services as Local Search powered by Google, fuel prices and weather.