BusinessWeek Profiles TomTom
BusinessWeek has written a nice article profiling TomTom, their roots, putting a dent in Garmin, and possible future competition from other companies. The article makes mention of the TomTom ONE and its low price point.
The most recent attempt by TomTom to upset the balance came in August, with the TomTom One, a compact $499 device that does everything most drivers need from a navigation device, but at a price point not seen before.
The article also talks about TomTom’s start as a company building software for Psion 3 handhelds called Palmtop Software and their transition into TomTom. TomTom also credits themselves for helping to bring down the cost of GPS devices in the USA while also bringing down the overall size of GPS receivers.
But the devices also sold themselves. Rival products were the size of bricks and generally cost $900 to $1,500. TomTom devices were competitively priced, smaller, and often easier to install and use. Its navigation screens, which show a forward-looking view of the roadway ahead, rather than a flat moving map, caught competitors by surprise and were quickly copied. “There was no button on the device,” Vigreux says. “The TomTom promise was one button for on-off. The rest is all handled through the software. Those are the kind of things that got the retailers to see the light. The buyer at CompUSA said it was the easiest device he had ever used and said he had to put it on his shelf.”
BusinessWeek also talks about the recent marketing blitz in the USA from both TomTom and Garmin (I’ve seen a few Magellan ads this summer too) and possible future players in the market such as Sony and Phillips.