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Electronics Production | April 18, 2011

Why the PND Market faces a 50% decline

The PND (Personal Navigation Device) market is forecast to continue on a downward spiral over the coming years unless PND OEMs make radical changes.
In a new study, “Personal Navigation Devices: Making Money from a Declining Market,” ABI Research portrays a grim future for PNDs. Senior Analyst Patrick Connolly says, “Over-inflated shipments generated by ‘price wars’ have created a false impression of market strength. This also delayed the inevitable consequences of a slowdown in innovation. In the meantime, the in-car telematics market has finally gotten organized, and the cellular navigation and telematics market goes from strength to strength, with ABI Research forecasting it to reach over 500 million subscribers/downloads in 2016”.

OEMs face tough decisions on whether to continue with the status quo and milk the PND cash cow for as long as possible, or try and create a sustainable market at a more realistic level. A large number of PND manufacturers have either exited the market completely or consolidated. Others are already developing products for new growing markets, such as in-car, recreational and fitness, tablets, and mobile applications.

Some have identified connected PNDs as the saviors of this market, but they will not be enough in their current form. Connolly observes, “The connected PND market is forecast to represent almost 40% of all shipments by 2016. Yet, there is not enough time to allow this market to evolve organically, while ‘nickel and diming’ customers with high subscription fees. The existing business model must be overhauled, removing cost barriers for customers, boosting hardware platforms and opening up the OS to encourage application developers. Such measures might just accelerate uptake enough to save the overall market.

Senior practice director Dominique Bonte adds, “Adopting this new approach will not only help to sustain the market, but will also open up secondary revenue sources such as data analytics, applications, traffic, and advertising; these are areas that remain under the radar but are set to generate an increasingly large proportion of overall revenue.”

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