According to ABI Research's report “Location System and Platforms Forecasts, Global", much of this growth is in the perpetually commoditizing smartphone application market, reaching over 395 million downloads by 2016. However, there will continue to be a place for high-quality navigation services and features, particularly as car OEMS begin to support connected services, enabling applications to leverage information about the car and the driver.
The other major trend is toward factory-installed navigation solutions. Factory-installed navigation solutions are set to overtake PND shipments by 2015, reaching 25 million units, illustrating the importance of this market. Both PND vendors Garmin and TomTom have announced a series of design wins for line-fitted and semi-integrated navigation solutions. These are particularly suited to the mass market, mid-tier ranges, where the low cost offered by these solutions will be a big differentiator.
With the connected car and in-car telematics markets forecast to become a significant revenue generator over the next five years, it is vital for companies to use navigation as a platform on which to offer additional services. Although the total connected car market is multi-faceted, covering mandates, infotainment, cost saving applications, etc., PND companies should look to support a variety of these services in a low cost way, much like they did with navigation.