Consumer navigation devices and systems will clock up annual sales of $62bn by 2012, new research predicts.
Despite disappointing sales levels in the first quarter of 2008, and profit warnings issued by TomTom, Tele Atlas and SiRF, the navigation market still faces a bright future, according to analysts.
"The current decrease in sales has to be seen as a logical reaction following the extraordinary sales growth during the fourth quarter of 2007, especially in the US," said Dominique Bonte, principal analyst at ABI Research.
The personal navigation device remains the most prevalent type, but is increasingly complemented by other form factors such as onboard and off-board handset-based navigation and low cost factory-installed in-car systems.
At the same time, navigation capabilities are being integrated in an increasing number of new form factors such as portable gaming consoles and mobile internet devices.
The ABI report reveals that consumer navigation is quickly maturing as new features such as text-to-speech and real-time traffic become available.
Features such as pedestrian navigation, dynamic content and live local search on connected devices are also being introduced, enhancing the navigation experience even further.
"However, in an increasingly competitive and complex mass market, branding, communication and market share are becoming key success factors often achieved by consolidation and vertical integration," the ABI report stated.
"While the navigation market continues to grow and mature, the window of opportunity for small, innovative companies to stay in the market - let alone enter it - is closing quickly."
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