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The market of GPS-navigators in crisis

The market of commercial portable GPS-receivers is in a quandary. Market research in the last decade has shown that navigators have become standard equipment, embedded in cars and mobile phones. Most likely, in the future, these devices will provide navigation to unmanned vehicles.

Experts point out that the problems in the PC market of GPS-navigators are driven by three fundamental reasons.

The first reason for the decline in consumer demand is the presence of embedded navigation systems in cars and smartphones, which eliminates the need for a separate GPS receiver. Now cell phone manufacturers and Google are serious competitors for the leading providers such as Magellan and TomTom.

The second reason – the map themselves. In order to provide the consumer with actual data it’s necessary to constantly update maps. The streets of cities are undergoing significant changes, which forces manufacturers to invest serious money in updating of maps. Meanwhile, the Internet companies have the opportunity to update maps at the lowest cost and offer them to the users free of charge. Manufacturers of GPS-receivers also offer free map update for their clients, but it significantly reduces the profit, which is already at a low level due to high competition.

The third reason - an awkward interface. Sometimes it is difficult to make a route with multiple stops using a portable navigator. So often it’s easier for users to plan a trip using Google Maps. Currently, Google does not allow loading device maps. However, third-party companies offer these special converters.

According to experts, it’s rather difficult for manufacturers of personal GPS-navigators to solve all these problems. The best way out of the situation for them is to amalgamate with other companies or to write software for Apple, Microsoft, Android and Blackberry.

Digital cartography and GPS navigation 25-06-2013