Portable Navigation Device Sales are Slow

Portable Navigation Device sales are apparently weak this holiday season according to the analysts. Are PND devices losing consumer interest faster than expected because of other GPS devices?  Retail strength appeared biased towards mobile phones, tablets, TVs and gaming.  iPhone and Android devices were strong and Blackberry and Nokia (Navteq) remained weak.   PND devices may be losing interest more quickly than analysts expected and the price cuts are deep expecting subscription sales to make up the difference. However, very few of them have any differentiated content strategy to sell the data.

Wedbush analysts were watching retail traffic at Best Buy where the auto/GPS section was relatively desolate looking and it took time and effort to locate store personnel.  Displacement from smartphones and in-dash navigation systems continue: Garmin nüvi 255WT and TomTom XL350TM both 4.3” devices priced at $99.99 (TomTom also includes life time maps update).  The lowest priced PNDs were the Garmin nüvi 205 3.5” for $79 and the TomTom Ease US 3.5” for $59, both at Walmart. Follow up checks showed Garmin’s priced just under $100 with competitive products priced at $79.99. At one big box retailer, we calculated allocated shelf space for PNDs as follows: TomTom 32%, Magellan 32%, Garmin 20%, Insignia 12%, and Mitac 4%. However, they saw some separate standalone displays for Garmin and to a lesser extent, TomTom. While they believe TomTom will once again garner share gains on Black Friday, and believe both Garmin and TomTom will suffer from a declining PND market. Wedbush notes that Garmin did receive additional shelf space in the Outdoor/Fitness section, though they also saw Polar making a bigger push into GPS watches with a more sleek design.  Here are the latest PNDs available on Amazon.com.