updated 01:30 pm EDT, Mon June 27, 2011
TomTom loses North American share fast in 2011
TomTom issued a warning Monday that its GPS units were losing share to Android and iPhone hardware faster than it first thought. Its North American stake was seeing a "faster rate of decline" than it saw at the start and would plunge 30 percent for all of 2011. Europe was seeing an expected 10 percent drop, but more of these GPS navigators were entry models and fewer were being stocked in stores.
The Dutch company lowered its expectations for revenue to no more than the equivalent of about $1.82 million.
As one of the largest and few truly international GPS makers, TomTom has usually been out in front but has been a victim along with Garmin and others of the smartphone push. Turn-by-turn iPhone GPS apps and Google Maps Navigation on Android have together eliminated much of the need for a dedicated GPS unit and often have the features previously reserved for high-end GPS units, such as Bluetooth calling and media playback.
TomTom has usually taken the high road and was one of the first to have smartphone GPS apps. Its rival Garmin has tried to spook users away with fears of roaming costs but has proven unsuccessful since many can get apps with offline maps. Google Maps Navigation has just started adding offline caching and could soon eliminate the need for most any separate app.