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ChangeWave GPS Survey

Mar
13
2008

ChangeWave recently conducted a survey where they asked people the following question.

Who is the manufacturer of the portable GPS device you most recently purchased?

The results were pretty strange with what I know about the GPS market, but I think it is important to remember what each company actually sells and how that might impact the answers.

  • Garmin – 56%
  • Magellan – 12%
  • TomTom – 9%
  • Trimble – 3%
  • Lowrance 3%

The problem lies with what most people might assume the survey is asking. 3% marketshare from Trimble? They don’t even sell consumer or automotive devices. Their products are primarily commercial surveying type products. Where is Mio?

Don’t forget that Garmin sells “portable GPS devices” for not only the automotive market, but also portable marine GPS market, portable outdoor/fitness GPS market, and portable aviation GPS market. Magellan also sells devices in the portable outdoor/fitness market.

I’m not trying to dispute the results of the survey itself of diminish the quality of the results, but it is important to note that Garmin and Magellan each produce products in segments that the other GPS companies don’t, which are all included in the results. It isn’t as if Garmin is selling PND type devices at a five to one rate over Magellan nor a six to one rate over TomTom as some people have tried to conclude from those results.

3 Responses


  1. Tim, I did read a report earlier this week from a gps industry analyst reporting Garmin still at 47% market share in the US, with TT at 21%, Magellan at 17% and Mio at 6%.(You’ve likely seen the same report). I too thought that other players, particularly TT, had made more serious inroads into Garmin’s US market share. If anything, the industry report showed LESS competition in 2007 than 2006 in the US.

    Gatorguy - March 13th, 2008
  2. Yes, those figures sound closer to what I sense and other survey’s I’ve seen. The holiday quarter was much different, but that was to be expected. And I still wonder if they are just comparing auto units and how many handheld (non-auto) devices are getting figured into those numbers. But I agree, those numbers sound more likely.

    Tim - March 13th, 2008
  3. You’re correct. Most of the surveys refer to consumer navigation devices, so you cannot tell for sure if they are referring to ALL personal gps devices or only auto.

    Gatorguy - March 13th, 2008



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