I haven’t decided if I’ll do a 2010 predictions post yet, but in the process of thinking about it, I decided to take a look at last year’s effort and see how I did. My comments as to the outcome are in italics following each prediction…
Auto GPS predictions
- A nuvi 8×5 series will bring lane assist and voice recognition together in one unit – The nuvi 8×5 series was introduced
- Garmin discontinues the nuvi 200 series; all Garmin nuvi models will now have text-to-speech – Garmin did indeed discontinue the 200 series, but the 205(W) remains, keeping the latter half of this prediction from coming true
- Crowdsourced HD traffic comes to the US with the stateside introduction of the TomTom GO LIVE series – TomTom HD traffic isn’t here yet (and isn’t thought too highly of in Europe for that matter)
- TomTom releases a GPS receiver that utilizes alternative positioning information for improved accuracy in urban canyons – Nope
- More manufacturers display multiple route options visually, ala Dash and Insignia – Magellan has added this feature
- Navigon folds, caught between Nextar on the low end and MiTAC’s aggressive promotion of the Magellan line – Navigon ceased US PND operations; close enough!
- Red light camera alerts will move closer to the mainstream – Only incrementally
- More downward feature creep — expect to see Lane Assist on some mid-range Garmins, more units with lifetime traffic, larger screens, etc. – Duh!
- Garmin announces a desktop application (possibly a
revamped MapSource) that allows planning routes with POIs and
transferring them to Garmin units with current City Navigator maps; it
will be set up to allow users to opt into sharing anonymized tracklogs
ala TomTom HOME – Nope
- Said application will support wireless transfer of data via ANT or Bluetooth – Nyet
Connected PNDs and cell phones
- The nuvifone will hit the market early in Q2; it will immediately
be clear that it is the best cell phone navigation solution on the
market, and while call quality will be surprisingly good, other
functionality will be no match for the iPhone – Except for the date, close enough!
- The nuvifone will be a much greater success than the Dash Express, TeleNav Shotgun and Insignia units, effectively killing the model of a connected PND with a separate service contract – Um, I don’t think so
- Someone releases an advertising-supported, no fee, connected PND – Nope
- A Garmin Android line won’t appear until 2010 – True (so far!)
Handheld GPS predictions
I’m predicting we’ll see at least one of the following from Garmin (note that I said at least one – I’m going to claim the second one below as “close enough”):
- A successor to the 60CSx, with a quad helix antenna and a touch screen – No, although the Oregon’s quality has improved so much that it certainly rivals (and in some cases surpasses) the 60CSx
- A revamped MapSource that allows for the purchase and transfer of aerial imagery to the Colorado and Oregon series – Garmin did this one better; we get to use free imagery!
- Garmin takes on SPOT with a GPS receiver featuring a personal locator beacon – Still wishing for this one
- A Garmin prosumer line, somewhere between the DeLorme PN-40 and Magellan’s MobileMapper – Haha, fantasy land!
- An Oregon unit with pre-loaded 1:24,000 scale topo maps and highway maps for the entire U.S. – Maybe in 2010
- A mechanism to sell (or make more easily available) trail data accumulated by MotionBased, soon to be Garmin Connect, possibly as part of a revamped MapSource – Oh don’t I wish
I also think MiTAC will resurrect Magellan’s handheld market, though not until the spring of 2010. – I stand by this one
Mergers, acquisitions and deals
Valuations are low and several players have a lot of cash.
- Possible buyers – Microsoft, Google, Apple, Garmin
- Possible acquisition targets – DeLome, Dash – The latter was bought by RIM