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Nov 9, 2007

PND Market to Surpass 100 Million Units by 2011

Worldwide sales of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) will continue their strong growth, reaching sales of more than 100 million units by 2011, according to the new report released by ABI Research. The New York-based research firm predicts that dedicated PNDs will continue to be preferred for use in the car. However, it says that in-car navigation systems will be complemented by handset-based systems for pedestrian navigation. The firm also says new devices such as portable media players, ultra mobile PCs, Internet tablets and mobile Internet devices will also integrate navigation systems into their applications.

The recent announcement that Nokia will acquire NAVTEQ has everyone talking about "convergence". Speaking of the involvement of cellular carriers with PNDs, ABI Research principal analyst Dominique Bonte predicts that sales of off-board handset-based navigation devices will grow strongly in North America, reaching a sales volume of 21 million units by 2012. "It will be a catalyst for the uptake of location-based services such as search, friend finder and tracking features” he said.

For future growth, ABI Research says PND manufacturers should look to China and India, saying that by 2012 more navigation systems will ship in Asia-Pacific than in any other region. Currently Europe is the leading navigation market.

Despite the growing market for PNDs, strong competition will continue as well as pressure to lower prices. This will result in a continued consolidation of the market. Manufacturers will likely seek to stand out in the fierce market, adding features such as speech technology, multimedia features and 3D map content.

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