“Apple’s online App Store for the iPhone, with hundreds of programs available so far, has been a big hit since it opened July 11. But one thing that’s conspicuously absent is a navigation program with voice-based, turn-by-turn directions that utilizes the iPhone 3G’s new GPS receiver,” Suzanne Choney reports for MSNBC.

“Such a program is likely some months away. Several of the ‘bigs’ in the business — TomTom, Garmin and Magellan — are interested. But the three companies are reticent to say much about their plans, which still require Apple’s blessing,” Choney reports.

“‘We have made our navigation system run on the iPhone; it looks good and works very well,’ said Dutch-based company TomTom, in a statement to MSNBC.com. ‘We will have to look more closely to Apple’s strategy before we can say more about what kind of opportunities this will bring us,'” Choney reports. “‘We’re always looking at new phone platforms to expand into for Garmin Mobile, but we don’t have any announcements regarding the iPhone at this time,’ said Jessica Myers of Garmin International. Magellan spokesman Raphel Finelli said the company does ‘not have immediate plans for this, but we are looking into it.'”

Choney reports, “Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies market analysts, said ‘in talking to some of the guys in the software community, they believe we’ll see voice turn-by-turn directions within the next three months’ for the iPhone, and certainly ‘before the end of the year.'”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “James L.” for the heads up.]

Several MacDailyNews and iPodDailyNews readers tell us that they decided not to get the navigation option in their vehicles or standalone GPS devices, since they already have GPS capabilities in their pocket with their iPhones. Voice-based turn-by-turn GPS will be a very welcome iPhone app. Garmin, Tom Tom, Magellan, and other GPS companies would be best served by working feverishly to get the first iPhone Voice-based turn-by-turn GPS in Apple’s App Store ASAP. Make no mistake, Garmin et al. even as is, Apple’s iPhone already has the ability to render purchases of your companies’ devices superfluous. It’s only going to get worse for those GPS companies that fail to provide iPhone-based solutions.