Sunday, March 18, 2012

GPS predictions for 2013

2013 GPS predictions

Time to stick my neck out once again with my annual GPS predictions!

Auto GPS predictions

  • Garmin will announce their 2013 nuvi line during the first half of January, including models with an integrated traffic receiver
  • Some or all members of the nuvi 2013 line will be available almost immediately
  • HD traffic will start to show up on mid-range nuvis
  • Garmin will discontinue the rest of the nuvi 1xxx line
  • TomTom and Garmin will both continue to limit the number of new introductions; expect to see only one or two announcements per year (even so, it wouldn’t surprise me for one of those Garmin announcements to feature a dozen new nuvis)
  • Magellan will introduce a unit with a driving recorder
  • Garmin will announce their first RV unit for the US

Handheld GPS predictions

  • Garmin will announce a refreshed Oregon line with GLONASS capability before summer
  • Garmin will release new handhelds with Bluetooth capability
  • DeLorme will introduce no new standalone GPS units this year, effectively leaving the handheld GPS market
  • Garmin will finally release a dual handheld GPS/satellite tracking unit
  • LIDAR-based maps will become more common – expect to see paper backcountry maps and third-party GPS maps in 2013, but no LIDAR-based maps from the likes of Garmin till 2014 at the earliest

Mobile GPS predictions

  • Garmin will update their BaseCamp Mobile app to allow for the transfer of topo maps to it
  • Garmin will release an Android version of their BaseCamp Mobile app
  • 911 texting will see a limited rollout in the US, and we’ll start seeing news stories about backcountry rescue being summoned via text messages

GPS tracking predictions

  • Garmin will roll out new GPS tracking products
  • Lightweight cat-specific GPS trackers will hit the market

Your turn!

What have I missed? What are your predictions?

Image credit: 2013 New Year ( / CC BY 3.0

About Rich Owings

Rich is the owner, editor and chief bottle-washer for GPS Tracklog. Connect with him on Twitter, Facebook or Google Plus.


  1. Rich:

    Do you see an update to the motorcycle Zumo line for 2013? The Zumo 660/665 has been out for almost 3 years this spring without a substantive update (Zumo 350 withstanding).

  2. Hoping to see Magellan’s handhelds having GLONASS too.

  3. Hi Rich.

    Thank you very much for all the info, i would like to ask you if you think it’s possible to see StreetPilot for Android in the Market …

  4. Rick Howard says:

    Would love to see Garmin come out with a product which is a cross between a Map 62s and Delorme’s in-reach. Perhaps that is what your were alluding to? Thanks for the predicitions.

  5. The new u-blox 7 gnss chip is supposed to be a much faster multi-platform processor than the Tesio II. Let’s hope so for screen redraw sake on the larger (than eTrex) models. I’d love to get my hands on the “Montana GL”. Why? heck I dunno, cool factor I guess. I get good enough reception here in Montana with just GPS/WAAS.

  6. LIDAR coverage in the US. They better get their butts in the air to make your prediction!! 🙂

  7. I guess 2013 will have the next generation of PND units or else the industry will fade. I guess that by CES we will hear some very interesting news

  8. Will this be the year that Garmin fixes their Garmin Connect website? I have had a Dakota 20 for 2 years and still have never been able to automatically upload my tracks. Garmin just keeps saying that they are working on an upgrade to the site.

  9. Bernie Seward says:

    I would love to see Garmin come out with a 5″ and 7″ RV-specific line to compete with the Rand McNally RV gps line. The Dezl models meet some of the needs and interests of RV-ers but they could do so much more than the Dezl trucker models particularly with POIs and route planning. A 7″ gps like the Dezl 760 is too large for the cab of a pickup truck so there will always be a need for a 5″ model. Until then I’ll just stick with my Nuvi 2460.

  10. Hi Rich:

    I’m considering buying my wife a nuvi 3590LMT for her car. Her job requires her to travel throughout Chicago, suburbs, and N.W. Indiana. She currently has a nuvi 255W and is well past due for an upgrade. Before purchasing a new unit we were wondering if you thought Garmin was going to upgrade the 3590LMT any time soon. Thanks for your insight.

    • There is a good chance they will announce an update to the nuvi line by mid-January, at which time we should know availability dates. They may be available immediately or not until late spring. Prices will not be discounted for many months though. Hope this helps!

  11. Hey Rich first of all just want to say how much I appreciate your reviews. Next I have a question. I was thinking about an Oregon 650 but the fact the it isn’t great in cold weather has kind of put me off. The alternative in my opinion could be a map62. But apart from having buttons it doesn’t seem to be as good as the Oregon. So what I’d like to know is does the Oregon work in cold conditions and what if any problems would it or the user have in cold weather? Just one final question…..have you heard on the grapevine about a replacement for the map 62 in 2014? Thanks a lot

    • A 62 series update wouldn’t surprise me. I expect there will be quite a few reports on how the 600 series handles cold weather in the coming months, so you may want to wait a bit.

  12. Rich, thanks for you valuable contributions. I’m wishing for a category regarding GPS software for both trip planning, research, and documenting my adventure. I have experience with Delorme Topo, but curious about Garmin’s Basecamp (and others). I find the planning and post trip debriefing to be more valuable than the hardware.

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