It was always going to be the matter of time before GPS giants went after the iPhone market. The new changes introduced by Apple now makes it easier for GPS application developers to come up with GPS solutions that provide iPhone owners with turn by turn directions and accurate driver information. According to Information Week, TomTom and Navigon are working to introduce their own GPS solutions for iPhone soon. TomTom’s solution will be a software/hardware hybrid kit to let drivers get the best navigation experience with their phone while Navigon will focus solely on the software side of things.
There is no question that GPS makers have been struggling to grow and make profits in these tough economic times. They have also been hit by innovative devices such as iPhone and some have had to exit the market. Just a while ago, Navigon decided to get out of the personal GPS market completely to focus on software. So it’s no wonder the iPhone is attractive to these companies. iPhone 3G S provides these GPS companies with an avenue to reach out to a lot of new customers and maybe encourage them to buy the real thing. Focusing on the software side of things is much more affordable for a lot of these GPS makers, which means one shouldn’t be surprised to see more companies come up with their own GPS solutions for iPhone.
TomTom and Navigon have not shared too much information about their plans, but it’ll be interesting to see how they use the wealth of features available on iPhone (e.g. contacts, maps, …) to develop their GPS applications. And let’s not forget about the price. Will they offer somewhat affordable iPhone apps? We’ll have to wait and see on that.