Global satnav shipments decline as navigation app usage rises | Mobile Development | Mobile Entertainment

Global satnav shipments decline as navigation app usage rises

Global satnav shipments decline as navigation app usage rises
Zen Terrelonge

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Development / Location / April 19th 2013 at 3:02PM

Lower consumer spending also to blame.

Berg Insight reports that global shipments of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) fell from 33 million in 2011 to 28m in 2012. Contributing factors are noted as lower consumer spending in European markets, while the installed base of PNDs is high and may have peaked.

Mobile navigation apps are also to blame, with the number of phone users worldwide using a mapping app at least one a month rising from 105m in 2011 to 150m in 2012. Car manufacturers are also damaging the market, as more brands install in-dash navigation as a standard feature.

PND shipments in emerging markets like Eastern Europe, South America and India are rising, but they're not enough to balance the decline in developed regions, with global shipments to fall to 17m in 2017.

Berg Insight senior analyst André Malm notes that more than half of the current active navigation subscriber base uses free apps that are bundled with handsets or service plans from mobile operators, while smartphones from major vendors now come bundled with free navigation apps in most developed markets.

Given the trend, operators have switched to freemium navigation services to offset the cost for end users, and they're teaming app developers to monetise services by introducing advertising and premium features.