The quarterly update to ABI Research’s Aftermarket Telematics and In-Vehicle Entertainment service examines the newest navigation offerings for the Japanese market.
“May is traditionally the month when Japanese aftermarket vendors announce their new navigation systems for the coming year,” said senior analyst Dan Benjamin. “Last year's big new feature was 3-D navigation,” he said. “It was tremendous that navigation systems could actually display buildings' facades, and even lane markers. This year we're seeing more integration of entertainment-centric features.” Benjamin noted that Fujitsu Ten plans to offer a disc changer; models from Clarion, Kenwood, and Pioneer can control an iPod, and Pioneer has added a standard USB port. “Virtually every vendor now supports playback of audio and video from flash media cards."
Benjamin said vendors elsewhere have been cautious about price points creeping up to the Japanese level, which can exceed $3,000. “More of the developments elsewhere have been with regard to price reduction,” he said, “But it doesn't cost much to add a USB port or a flash card reader, so these are the kinds of improvements we expect to see within the next year or so."