TomTom is attempting to crack the free navigation roadblock thrown up by Google, sealing a deal to provide maps to HTC, one of the most popular manufacturers of Android phones. Initially available on the HTC Desire HD (shown at left) and Desire Z in Europe and Asia, HTC promises to extend the partnership to “a wide variety of future smartphones and geographies.”
The TomTom / Tele Atlas brand distinction has become more muddled lately, and it is unclear whether HTC owners will be getting just Tele Atlas maps or the option to add TomTom navigation. The maps will be included in HTC’s Locations interface, “while turn-by-turn navigation can be purchased and downloaded through HTC Locations or HTC Sync.” The image at left could be dated, and not indicative of what users will see, though it is currently on the official HTC Desire HD web page.
It may be that TomTom has given HTC a good deal on Tele Atlas content, hoping for some add-on sales, though that isn’t likely to generation much revenue when there is a reasonable quality free alternative. Nevertheless, this does give TomTom a beachhead in an important and fast growing segment of the smartphone market.
Here’s the full news release. Let us know how you parse the language.