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Main > Archives > 2009 > April > Are iPhone & Blackberry Hurting Garmin, Tom-Tom & GPS Sales?

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Are iPhone & Blackberry Hurting Garmin, Tom-Tom & GPS Sales?

garmin stock

For every iPhone and Blackberry that's sold, there's one less consumer who needs a GPS device.

Obviously, the phone's feature isn't as user-friendly as a hands-free, talking GPS devices such as Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN), but it supplies the same fundamental service- plotting your route.
I don't advise anyone to navigate with their iPhone GPS in one-hand and the steering wheel in the other, but we're all guilty of it from time-to-time. It's just as dangerous as texting-while-driving, but in America, we've convinced ourselves that time is money, and saftey is often sacrificed as a result.
For a personal example, I was searching for one my favorite restaurants in Winter Park, when I handed my iPhone to the passenger, because I didn't want to risk an accident. Unfortunately, I must admit that there have been plenty of other times when I was driving alone, and I took the risk.
Safety aside, consider the other ramifications, especially for GPS manufacturers. I started to wonder if the increased sales of Blackberry phones and iPhones decreased sales of GPS devices such as Garmin and Tom-Tom (Public, AMS:TOM2).

Obviously, there's no concrete proof to provide a definite answer, but I figured it was worth taking a look at the stock performances of those two companies.
Garmin's stock was at $53.94 on June 4, and the iPhone debuted nearly one month later, July 11. Today, it's priced at $21.94. Tom-Tom was priced $25.77 on May 19 and is currently priced at $4.41.

To be fair, the vast majority of stocks plunged in August, so the decline can't be directly attributed to the arrival of the iPhone. Regardless, GPS device manufacturers must find new ways to market their products as a safe and thorough alternative to hand-heldnavigational devices.

By Matt O'Hern at 03:48 PM | Comments (8)

(8) Thoughts on Are iPhone & Blackberry Hurting Garmin, Tom-Tom & GPS Sales?

This is what passes as market analysis these days?

Comments by Bob Smith : Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 06:02 PM

Totally agree with bob smith. Grmn collapsed because the whole market collapsed. It's true a couple people may have put off a gps for the one on their phone but the fall in stock price is not neccessarily, not logically correlated.

Comments by Pinny : Thursday, April 23, 2009 at 11:19 PM

GRMN stock began its tumble long before the iPhone released. Try rolling that graph back to September 2007 when GRMN was at $120... Oh wait, if you did that it wouldn't reinforce your worthless analysis.

Comments by Prinny : Friday, April 24, 2009 at 01:00 PM

This was merely an observation, and I clearly stated that it wasn't to be interpreted as anything more than that. Did you guys read the entire article? You must have missed these lines:

"Obviously, there's no concrete." proof to provide a definite answer....To be fair, the vast majority of stocks plunged in August, so the decline can't be directly attributed to the arrival of the iPhone".

Comments by Matt : Friday, April 24, 2009 at 01:10 PM

An iphone doesn't even come close to replacing a real GPS on your dash. Actually use a Garmin and you wouldn't even think of using your phone for serious navigation.

Comments by Mark Dittmer : Friday, April 24, 2009 at 01:19 PM

Hey guys...I was one of the first employees at Magellan in the early-mid 90's, we knew (extensive market research)that the convergence of wireless and GPS would change the dynamics of the hardware business. It has take an extroidinary amoount of time to get there.

I have not used an iPhone...but I have used the Blackberry Curve extensively as a GPS and it is a killer app...Exactly what the road warrior needs...and with more and more content providers bringing apps to market...if your box isn't's like using an old paper map...

The carriers will own this market now. That's why Nokia bought Navteq...There is no margins in the hardware...anymore...this fall, $49 will buy you a basic turn by turn device...comparable to a Curve when $50 rebate is included...Convergence is always brutal.

Comments by S Lee : Monday, April 27, 2009 at 10:48 AM

Used to use my Garmin all the time until my wife told me how great the navigation was on her Blackberry.

I decided to try it out, and after several months, I must say that I prefer the GPS on my phone.

A couple of aspects I enjoy: I don't have to mess with updating my map version. I use GPS when I'm outside the car now, such as biking around the city or finding a shop downtown. In a city where anything and everything is at a theft risk - I don't have to worry about hiding my Garmin in the car anymore.

Comments by Jim Campbell : Sunday, May 03, 2009 at 01:43 AM

You devoted two entire paragraphs to "risks while using GPS on a handphone while driving". Have you ever heard of a mobile phone holder? Geez. Were you even thinking when you wrote it?

Comments by EJ : Saturday, June 13, 2009 at 03:14 AM

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