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PNDs Said To Lift Cellphone-Nav Market

The success of the personal navigation device (PND) market will drive more consumers to use cellphone-based navigation services that provide turn-by turn driving instructions, according to Research and Markets.

The number of European and American cellphone users accessing maps and downloading routes through the cellphones will grow from 4 million users in 2007 to 43 million in 2007 for a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 60.8 percent, the research company forecasts.

“Record shipments of PND devices in Europe and the U.S. have introduced the benefits of GPS for motorists,” explained telecom analyst André Malm. “Now the major players in the mobile industry are in hot pursuit of delivering the same experience for pedestrians, commuters and travelers on the handset display.”

The growing adoption will be driven mainly by GPS-equipped smartphones with bundled navigation and map content, he said.

The navigation-enabled Nokia N95 opened up the European market for handset navigation in 2007, he said, and in the United States, Sprint Nextel and Verizon Wireless have attracted millions of subscribers to navigation services. Nokia is putting its “full weight” behind a “handset-centric map and navigation platform,” whereas Google and Yahoo! extended their existing local search and map services with Mobile Web 2.0 applications, he said.

The report projects that ad-funded services will account for an increasing share of the cellular-based navigation market because “navigation fits perfectly with local search applications that offer completely new opportunities for advertisers to target consumers in novel ways.”

“Maps are already available free of charge from a host of sources on the Internet,” Malm said. “Soon navigation will reach that stage, too, pulling away the very foundation for premium rate mobile propositions.”