According to a new research report from the analyst firm Berg Insight, global shipments of Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) will peak at about 50 million units per year in 2012 and slightly decline thereafter. Growing shipments in emerging markets are not likely to fully compensate for the decline in Europe and North America, where higher adoption of handset-based navigation services will become the primary navigation solution for occasional users. Nevertheless, multiple navigation solutions and device types are likely to co-exist also in the future. Most PNDs and in-car navigation systems still provide a better user experience than many handset-based navigation services. Moreover, handset navigation services are also well suited as a complement to other solutions, especially for use outside the car.
PND vendors are increasingly looking at value-added services enabled by new devices with wireless connectivity to combat slower market growth, increasing competition and commoditisation of entry-level devices. Berg Insight forecasts that 88 percent of PNDs shipped worldwide in 2015 will have integrated cellular connectivity. “The connected PND segment has had a slow start, but now seems to be on-track as business models have been refined”, said André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight. Although Connected PNDs are unlikely to account for a significant share of total shipped units next year, rapid growth can be expected once customers get used to new live services such as traffic flow information, speed camera databases and up-to-date maps. “In only a few years time, wireless connectivity will be taken for granted also in Personal Navigation Devices”, said Mr Malm.