TomTom Embraces the Apple iPhone

Sat nav device users may soon no longer have to worry about purchasing a separate receiver for their car if the recent announcement by TomTom is any indication. The company plans to release a software application that integrates with the Apple iPhone in the very near future.

TomTom for the iPhone

tomtom-iphoneAccording to the announcement, TomTom is prepared to release a new system that revolves around utilization of the iPhone that will not only include the supporting software, but a car kit as well.  It is said that the application will run directly on the smartphone, delivering functionality that would normally be provided by a separate GPS unit.  The features of the app will include TomTom IQ Routes, along with the latest maps from Tele Atlas.  Being dubbed as “TomTom for the iPhone,” the accessory will make mounting an iPhoine in your car simple and secure while also adding speakers for voice-enabled instructions, enhanced GPS capabilities, hands-free calling and in-vehicle charging.

As of now, no details on pricing or release dates have been made public.  However, Scott Johnson, TomTom spokesman, states that we should expect a launch before the summer comes to a close.  Perhaps the biggest question is whether the package will only be compatible with Apple’s new iPhone 3G or older models as well.

What About the Rest of the Industry?

The GPS market seemed to take the news very well as TomTom’s share price has increased around 13%.  Being the only company specializing in sat nav services to land a deal with Apple, the recent move is bound to leave competitors like Garmin at a clear disadvantage.  TomTom will undoubtedly need to focus on its existing product line, but soon will have access to millions of new customers looking to save themselves a few Euros by purchasing the iPhone car kit instead of spending money on a separate navigation system.  The big issue is that if the kit is not compatible with older versions of the iPhone, TomTom will certainly be missing out on a lot of potential sales.

While no one knows how much the entire kit will cost, observers are projecting that it could be one of the most expensive apps ever released for the iPhone.  On the other hand, if it saves you hundreds of dollars on buying a separate GPS unit, the money spent could be well worth it.  When factoring in that you can carry around your iPhone and not worry about getting lost by car or on foot, you have a product that will be highly anticipated by the community of GPS users.

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