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In-Stat sees navigation opportunity for mobile handsets

Mobile phone operators can now market a downloadable navigation application that is as good as if not better than personal navigation devices (PNDs), according to the research firm In-Stat. In-Stat analyst David Chamberlain believes that handset-based mapping and navigation applications could cause a major change in the overall navigation market, which is now dominated by relatively expensive stand-alone devices.

"Unlike MP3 players and digital cameras, handset-based navigation applications provide the only low-cost alternative product in a market of growing popularity," Chamberlain said. "The value proposition for handset navigation applications is strong compared with that of PNDs and, in some ways, the functionality is superior." The total number of mapping and navigation mobile phone subscribers could exceed 42 million worldwide by 2012.

The research, "Mobile Handset Navigation Applications May Threaten Global Personal Nav Device Market " (# IN0703583MCM), provides forecasts for subscribers and revenue for global mapping/navigation services by region through 2012. It includes analysis of consumer and business markets, current offerings for these services, with an outlook of the market's potential. Priced at $3,495, the report is available online.

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