" ITREALMS: 2011: PND shipments decline as competition soars

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2011: PND shipments decline as competition soars

The global shipments of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) declined to about 33 million units in 2011, says research analyst firm, Berg Insight.

The Sweden-based research firm also noted that this was spurred by the fact that competition on PDNs have intensified.

The chief executive officer, Berg Insight, Mr. Johan Fagerberg, affirmed this in a press statement available to ITRealms Online on Monday, saying that in mature markets where the installed base of PNDs is already high, the device category is facing increasing competition from smart phones and low-cost in-dash navigation systems.

As said by him, aftermarket navigation systems would be the largest segment for several years to come and many customers, especially in Europe and North America, are likely to use more than one navigation capable device for different occasions in the future.

He noted that the growing shipments of PNDs in markets such as Brazil, China, India and Russia are not likely to compensate for the decline in Europe and North America.

“Global PND shipments are forecasted to decline to about 23 million units in 2016,” he disclosed, adding that the number of mobile subscribers using a turn-by-turn navigation application or service on their handset doubled in 2011 and reached 130 million worldwide.

“The subscriber base is forecasted to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 21.9 per cent to reach 340 million users worldwide in 2016,” he said.

On the broad availability of Global Positioning System (GPS) handsets, Mr. Fagerberg pointed out that attractive pricing are key factors for widespread adoption of mobile navigation applications.

Senior Analyst, Berg Insight, Mr. André Malm, said that the global active installed base of smart phones surpassed 700 million units at the end of 2011, which is approximately 15 per cent of all mobile phones in use.

He also said that about half of the current mobile navigation subscriber base uses free applications and services that are bundled with handsets or service plans from mobile operators.

“A growing number of mobile operators worldwide are switching to bundled free-mium navigation services to offset the cost for end users in response to free navigation applications (apps) for smart phones from Google and Nokia,” he said.

Malm further noted that navigation application developers and mobile operators are trying to monetise services by introducing premium feature and content add-ons that allow users to customise navigation apps to suit their personal needs.

“Since relatively few users need turn-by-turn guidance on a daily basis, complementary features such as traffic information, speed camera alerts, parking space information and local search become increasingly important means to drive usage”, he pointed out.

This, Mr Malm said has continued to stimulated usage which makes it imperative for developers and mobile operators to seek additional revenues from location-based advertising and local offers.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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