Apple: We’ll take the in-vehicle GPS market now, thanks

“Buried in the usual WWDC keynote fanfare was, I believe, the most disruptive announcement made by Apple: updated maps and mapping features for the iOS platform,” Adrian Kingsley-Hughes writes for ZDNet. “Now, on the face of it, maps might not seem either all that sexy or disruptive, but the mapping platform built into the iPhone and iPad is quite a core feature that’s leveraged throughout the platform. By replacing Google’s mapping service with its own — using data from companies such as TomTom and OpenStreetMaps and others — Apple is putting itself at the center of the action.”

“However, there was more to the mapping announcement than just a change of provider. Apple also unveiled a new and highly requested feature — turn-by-turn navigation. This is where the new mapping app starts to become disruptive,” Kingsley-Hughes writes. “This has significant implications for the entire in-car GPS market. And by implications, I mean casualties. And those casualties will be companies that sell in-car GPS receivers, companies such as TomTom and Garmin.”

Kingsley-Hughes writes, “Apple sells millions of iPhones and iPads every quarter, and these people no longer need to buy a secondary device to get them from A to B… In addition, vendors such as TomTom and Garmin also earn a significant revenue from selling annual map updates. iOS users will save money here because the maps will not need updating because Apple will be handling that at their end. This saves the owner a significant chunk of change, and will hurt the bottom line of the in-car GPS vendors… But that’s not all. The existing GPS vendors are going to get hit a third way. All the big names have apps which replicate their in-car GPS hardware experience on the iPhone or iPad.” No need for those apps now.

Kingsley-Hughes writes, “With iOS 6, Apple will put an in-car GPS receiver into the hands of millions of people, and that is going to have a very serious effect on the in-car GPS market… A year from now the in-car GPS landscape is likely to be a very different place.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Imagine being a fly on the boardroom wall in Garmin HQ this morning. We can almost hear their CEO:

“We have our strategy. We’ve got great GPS devices in the market today. You can get a Garmin nüvi 1100LM for $89. It’s a very capable machine. It’ll do street maps. It’ll do turn-by-turn. It’ll do rerouting. It’ll do voice-prompts. Right now, we’re selling millions and millions and millions of turn-by-turn voice navigation devices a year; Apple is selling zero turn-by-turn voice navigation devices a year. So, I kinda look at that and I say, well, ‘I like our strategy. I like it a lot.‘”

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Arline M.” for the heads up.]


    1. The problem is that Apple does not pay them much money. They earn much more by providing direct service.

      So Apple (most probably it was Jobs) came and said: “Will will use you or Garmin. So you either will earn nothing, or at least something. What will you decide?”

      Not much of the choice for TomTom.

  1. Nav is a natural extension for search when not buying online.

    If you are in another city and need to get something and a Siri query tells you that you can get it locally and also leads you to the store while avoiding traffic delays and such, how valuable is that?

    1. Absolutely. I’ve been saying this to the naysayers, an iPad with a 7.85″ screen is a perfectly pocket portable device, unlike an iPad, with loads of screen real-estate; it’s the same size as a paperback book, and an ideal size for map display.
      I have the whole of the UK in 1:50k Ordnance Survey on my iPad, along with CoPilot, and it’s fantastic, much better than my iPhone, but as an in-car unit? Nah. A smaller version, on the other hand, I can see being incorporated easily into cars in the dash, and rear headrests for video, or just handheld for games.
      To those who say it’ll never happen, well, possibly, but Apple create devices for those with the imagination to find uses for them. Imagination you clearly lack.

  2. MDN’s take assumes the Garmin’s management went to the Steve Balmer School of Management. That’s not so clear. Time will tell. But in any case, if you own Garmin stock, I’d suggest you sell…

  3. This is my favorite site (home page) and I especially like the MDN take on articles. As much as I may agree with them I don’t ever recall giving a smile or a chuckle after reading them. This one gave me an audible chuckle. Thanks!

  4. Garmin is not limited to the consumer “turn by turn” market. Although their revenue from consumer devices is attractive, their presence in aviation, marine and military applications should keep them around for the foreseeable future.

    1. I was excited too about Apples new turn by turn but turn by turn and fly over will only work on iPhone 4S and iPad 3rd gen. I have the 4th gen iPod touch and I bought the TomTom car kit through Amazon for like 20 bucks. I can use it with most GPS apps and it works great. I prefer using Motion X GPS with it, it’s only .99 cents

    2. Doesn’t anyone else have a yacht?

      Garmin has a lock on boats. Fish finders, sonar, GPS, charts, Garmin has if covered. I can’t see Apple fixing that market for a year or two.

  5. @matt
    Wile iOS is available for iPod touch 4th gen and iPhone 4, and maps will be available for them too, turn by turn isn’t.

    It’s only available for iPhone 4S, ipad 2 and later

  6. This will def kill the weaker brands but there will still be a market for full blown, large screen, GPS devices; like the ones used by truck drivers and avid travelers. This will do to consumer GPS what the (Apples) camera phone did to the point-n-shoot industry. DSLR’s and Pro-sumer cameras are still doing fine.

    1. What exactly did the iPhone do to the point-n-shoot industry? The Powershot I bought last year still takes *far* better images than my iPhone 4S camera. The camera in the phone is fine for those casual pictures that are spontaneous, but a good point-n-shoot still takes far better images and gives you far better control over the photography for those times when you know ahead of time that there will be pictures to be taken. Put another way- I use the point-n-shoot (or an SLR) for images that I would use as my MacBook Pro’s desktop image, or for images I would include in a book or calendar. The iPhone camera is *sometimes* suitable for casual pics that I might post to Facebook, where resolution and image quality aren’t as important.

      1. Apple has indeed disrupted the casual photography market with the iPhone. (Smartphones in general have.) More people buy iPhones nowadays than point-n-shoot cameras, and while very few people take their cameras with them everywhere, nearly everyone who has a smartphone takes it with them everywhere.

        I can’t remember which famous photographer said: “The best camera in the world is the one you have with you.”

  7. I have a Garmin that I still use in one vehicle but largely my primary GPS device has been an android phone with Google’s excellent navigation app.

    So yeah more phones with turn by turn will hurt the market somewhat.

    What’s up with the rumors that only the 4s and ipad2 will get turn by turn?

  8. Did anyone notice the automakers adding a button to the steering wheel to activate Siri Turn By Turn? The list included GM, Chrysler, Audi, BMW, VW, Mercedes, Toyota, and Honda.

    Noticeably missing is Ford whose MyTouch is done by Microsoft. This is why Ford owners need to pull a fuse to reset MyTouch which regularly bombs. If an upgrade comes out, the owner must make a service appointment.

  9. Garmin still has a lot of devices in nautical, flight and motorcycle (weatherproof) markets that the iPhone can’t service. Heck, the damn thing doesn’t even know where it is with no network available. Also if i would be using the iPhone on a trip to europe it would kill the travel budget on data use alone. Tomtom with only car and moto navi (one trick ponyshow) is the one that is lucky now.

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