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Uniden Enters Portable GPS

Fort Worth, Texas—Cordless phone supplier Uniden America will enter the popular portable GPS market this November with a line of products under the Uniden MapTrax brand.

The company plans an extensive line up, starting in the low priced segment, now at street prices of $349 to $399, said Uniden senior director of product development Rex Holloway.

Uniden will ship two models in November, followed by two in early spring 2007 and two or three additional units later in 2007. The company plans to focus on screen display and ease of use and claims it is offering best of class features including WAAS-enabled units with 400 MHz processors.The units will offer TFT touch screens with automatic day to night adjustments in screen sizes ranging from 3.5- to 7-inches for the full line through 2007. The 7-inch size will be among the largest in the segment and is aimed at RVs and other special uses. The products will also offer 2MB of embedded flash storage for maps of North America.

Spring models will include a Bluetooth unit and will also announce street names.

The GPS market is already crowded, with about 40 companies offering products and three companies — Garmin, TomTom and Magellan, accounting for more than 80 percent of sales, according to industry estimates.

Holloway said however, that that the market will double in size in 2007.Referring to the top three brands he noted, “These are well-known in the retail market and in the manufacturing community, but to a consumer, these are not brands that are so dominant they can’t be challenged.”The company notes that it is a leader in cordless phones despite the many other key brands in that segment.