You’ve probably heard by now that Apple unveiled their next-generation iPhone yesterday and that it has GPS. So here’s a little roundup of what this may mean in terms of navigation and competition with personal navigation devices (PNDs) and the forthcoming Garmin nuvifone.
First of all, it appears that the iPhone will not have built-in turn-by-turn navigation. I say "appears" because, while it wasn’t mentioned in yesterday’s announcements or shown in the demo, Gizmodo has a video that shows rudimentary navigation.
All of which leaves us with a number of questions:
- Will these maps be delivered over the air or will they eat up the limited memory on the iPhone?
- How is visibility in full sun?
- Is the speaker loud enough for voice navigation?
- How well will traffic be integrated?
- How well will navigation be integrated with phone calls, music, etc.?
Though the 3G iPhone has a nice $199 price point, you have to factor in the cost of mapping software; TomTom Navigator 6 is $149.95. Or if Dash provides their service, I would assume yet another ongoing monthly fee.
Is this the death of the PND? No, there are a lot of people out there not willing to pay $30 per month on top of a voice plan. And we’ve yet to see how good of a navigator the iPhone will be.
As far as the nuvifone goes, Garmin and AT&T better come up with a competitive discounted price, but the iPhone 3G isn’t necessarily a nuvifone killer. Voice quality and integration of navigation will also be important factors determining whether the nuvifone can compete and survive.