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   Technology StocksNVT - Source of GPS Software, Data, and Maps

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From: tech1017/8/2007 8:32:37 PM
   of 211
TomTom ONE In-Depth Review

Verdict: Almost Perfect. Too Bad About the Mapping Data

This month TomTom released it's newest GPS, the highly anticipated TomTom ONE. I got my hands on the ONE and I completed my in-depth review of the unit.

The TomTom ONE is designed for people who want a GPS solely for navigation purposes, and are not looking for an integrated music or video player, don't want a photo viewer, Bluetooth hands-free speakerphone, blah blah... The ONE is all about navigation. In exchange for these features, what you get is a high-performance, well designed GPS for under $400. When I first started using the ONE, I was amazed at its small size and ease of use. In fact, the TomTom ONE would be the GPS to beat, were it not for its fatal flaw of Tele Atlas mapping data. More on that later in the review.


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To: tech101 who wrote (160)7/8/2007 8:34:23 PM
From: tech101
   of 211
TomTom ONE XL Review

Verdict: New Wide Screen. Same Old Problems.

TomTom's ONE XL is the wide-screen version of the TomTom ONE. Priced at around $400, the updated ONE XL sports a 4.3" wide display and adds support for TomTom's real-time traffic service.

Last year I reviewed the TomTom ONE, and although there was much to praise, the ONE suffered from poor maps (by TeleAtlas), terrible customer support, and a sub-par routing engine. Has TomTom fixed all that ailed the ONE and delivered a stylish, user-friendly wide-screen GPS for under $400?

Dutch manufacturer TomTom hit US shores with a splash in April 2006 with the highly anticipated TomTom GO 910. The GO 910 was one of the first GPS units to make use of SiRF's high performance StarIII receiver, and sold for around $800. In September 2006, TomTom followed the TomTom ONE, a price-friendly stylish GPS that aimed to bring the best of the GO 910 to the masses. Now TomTom is bringing a 4.3" wide display to the ONE, and calling it the ONE XL.

Table of Contents ......

The two largest mapping providers are NAVTEQ and TeleAtlas. Magellan, Garmin, LG, Yahoo Maps, MSN Maps, and most in-car OEM GPS systems all use NAVTEQ maps. All TomTom GPS devices use TeleAtlas maps. NAVTEQ has historically had more complete and accurate maps in North America than TeleAtlas, and in my recent "What to look for in a GPS" article, I recommend shopping for a GPS that uses NAVTEQ maps.

When I reviewed the TomTom GO 910 and TomTom ONE last year, without question the biggest problem was the poor quality maps and routing engine.


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From: tech1017/10/2007 5:25:25 PM
   of 211
[Very close to my opinion except that the Banc of America Analyst Ronald Tadross fails to point out that the proliferation of GPS with cellphones while push NVT a lot higher will may have a negative impact on Garmin. And the PDA GPS popularity will help NVT more than GRMN because the low priced PDAs will create severe competitions to GRMN]

Out of the Gate: Garmin Edges Up

Tuesday July 10, 10:28 am ET

Garmin Down From All-Time High, Analyst Says Rising Navigation Device Sales Are Priced In

NEW YORK (AP) -- Shares of personal navigation device maker Garmin Ltd. reached an all-time high for the third consecutive trading day Tuesday, but later retreated.
Garmin shares peaked at $79.64 in the first minutes of trading. Through Monday, the stock had advanced 41.5 percent in 2007.

After the markets closed on Monday, Banc of America analyst Ronald Tadross initiated coverage of Garmin with a "Neutral" rating and an $84 price target. He said more people will buy navigation devices as prices fall, putting the devices in more than a third of U.S. cars in the next three years.

Garmin has half of the market, he said.

However, Tadross believes most of those increased sales are already priced into the stock. He said shares of Navteq Corp., which provides digital map data used in systems like Garmin's, are less risky. Navteq is trading at a discount by comparison, he added.

Twelve analysts now rate Garmin stock at "Neutral" or the equivalent, while six rate Garmin shares at "Buy" and two at "Sell."

Garmin stock rose 36 cents to $79.25.

Navteq shares gained 80 cents to $44.25.

Questions or comments about this story should be directed to the Financial News desk of The Associated Press at (212) 621-7190.

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To: tech101 who wrote (162)7/10/2007 5:36:00 PM
From: tech101
   of 211
Nokia: GPS Will Be in Every Phone

Jo Best, ZDNet Australia

10 July 2007 05:32 PM

Once, phones with MP3 players and cameras included were considered high end. Today, such devices have become ubiquitous. Now, Nokia believes GPS functionality will soon follow the same path.

The world's biggest phone manufacturer has already started including GPS receivers into a handful of devices, including the N95, a self-styled multimedia computer and the Nokia 6110 Navigator . It's a trend that we're likely to see more of in the coming months, the Finnish mobile maker has revealed.

David Watkins, Multimedia Sales Director Nokia APAC, told ZDNet Australia that GPS will work its way from niche product to mainstream functionality and will one day be considered as ubiquitous as the cameraphone is today.

"We have product introductions as [a type functionality] scales across. GPS is not just for technology leaders or people juggling their life, it's really for anyone," he said. "It's a trend you will be seeing more of." The next wave of GPS-enabled Nokia phones are expected to be announced this September.

Nokia is hoping that such location-based services will go beyond their traditional capacity as direction finding equipment for those making unfamiliar road journeys to "discovery" technology, where users will use their mobiles to find their nearest coffee shop or post office.

So what comes next? Presence, apparently. "It will be about 'I know where my friends are, what presence status they're in' -- so who's available for coffee in the CBD right now, like with IM presence," Watkins said.

The company has already produced sports software that blends location based information with a user's speed and other information to help runners analyse their daily jog. Watkins said with millions of developers working on the S60 -- the Nokia-owned platform that runs on top of the Symbian mobile operating system, many more applications will be produced to capitalise on location-based services.

According to analysts Frost and Sullivan, the Asia-Pacific location-based services market will be worth around US$500 million by the end of 2009, up from US$291.7 million in 2006 last year.

Nokia currently uses Navteq as its mapping supplier and the pair are considering branching out from road and street maps to include more rural offerings for bushwalkers and those exploring more remote areas.

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From: JakeStraw7/16/2007 9:56:14 AM
   of 211
RBC Selects NAVTEQ Direct Access to Enhance Location Accuracy
Monday July 16, 8:30 am ET

Mobile Consumers Will Be Able to Reliably Locate More Than 6000 Branches and ATMs Across North America

CHICAGO, July 16 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NAVTEQ (NYSE: NVT), a leading global provider of digital map data for location-based solutions and vehicle navigation, today announced that RBC, Canada's largest bank by assets, has chosen to participate in NAVTEQ's Direct Access program and provide thousands of its bank branch and ATM locations to mobile consumers using NAVTEQ digital maps in navigation systems and internet-based and wireless mapping applications.

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To: JakeStraw who wrote (164)7/18/2007 3:51:02 PM
From: tech101
   of 211
NVT Partners Through GRMN Getting into Phones

Handmark and Garmin Work Together to Enhance the Mobile Customer Experience Handmark to Distribute Garmin Mobile Through Its Established Global Distribution Channels

KANSAS CITY, Mo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Handmark®, a global leader in the development and distribution of mobile media, and Garmin International Inc., a unit of Garmin Ltd., today announced a strategic distribution agreement under which Handmark will distribute Garmin Mobile™ for BlackBerry GPS-enabled devices. Garmin Mobile is a subscription-based, feature-rich application that delivers maps, directions and turn-by-turn navigation on mobile phones.

Handmark offers unique distribution through U.S. mobile operators, including on-device client and web portals as well as both Handmark and operator-branded desktop and on-device stores. Handmark distribution also includes on-device and web-based e-stores in Europe through relationships with major device manufactures. Garmin Mobile will receive prominent placement within Handmark distribution channels.

Garmin Mobile includes highly detailed street maps of the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. The database features nearly six million points of interest, including hotels, restaurants, gas stations, ATMs and attractions. Map data is provided by NAVTEQ™ – a world leader in premium-quality mapping. Garmin Mobile maps are server-based and give consumers the most recent mapping available.

”Being able to reach your destination quickly and efficiently is a priority for mobile professionals,” said Charles Morse, Garmin’s director of mobile and PND marketing. “Garmin Mobile brings an array of features to BlackBerry devices and makes asking for directions a thing of the past.”

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From: tech1017/24/2007 12:20:10 PM
   of 211
TomTom Maps Out Tele Atlas Deal

The acquisition will likely shake up the personal navigation device market, particularly the role of Navteq, Tele Atlas' map data rival

by Arik Hesseldahl

News Analysis July 24, 2007, 12:01AM EST

Navigation devices from makers like TomTom and Garmin have become the must-have gadget for many drivers, runners, and others trying to get from point A to B. But those nifty boxes would be little more than dashboard ornaments without the data used to construct the detailed maps that keep users from getting lost.

Just how crucial those mapmaking guts are was made clear July 23, when TomTom, Europe's leading maker of personal navigation devices, said it would buy Tele Atlas, the supplier of most of its mapping data, for $2.8 billion in cash and debt.

The acquisition has far-reaching implications for the navigation device market, with perhaps the biggest impact likely to be felt by Navteq (NVT). For years, companies like TomTom, Garmin (GRMN)—the leading U.S. navigation device maker—and Magellan have relied on either Tele Atlas or Navteq for the labor-intensive business of supplying constantly updated and accurate street maps. That demand translated to sales of €264 million ($364 million) for Tele Atlas and $581 million for Navteq last year. And researchers at iSuppli expect the number of personal navigation devices (PNDs) to surge to 65.1 million in 2012 from 19.8 million in 2006.

As the main competitor to Tele Atlas, Chicago-based Navteq may pick up business from device makers that don't want to buy from Tele Atlas now that it's owned by their rival, TomTom. That, or Navteq just might find itself in the crosshairs of an acquirer.

Global Positioning Market
Garmin, with $1.8 billion in 2006 sales, is among the candidates, given its intense rivalry with TomTom (see, 8/28/06, "TomTom on the Go-Go"). With only $573 million in cash and short-term investments, Garmin would have to either take on debt—it has almost none—or use stock to spend the $6 billion to $7 billion it would take to acquire Navteq. "If they wanted to get the deal done using stock it would be easy for them to do it," says Rob Sanderson of American Technology Research in San Francisco, though he considers the combination unlikely. As it is, Garmin buys about 99% of its mapping data from Navteq, says company spokesman Ted Gartner, while a tiny sliver of data concerning Malaysia comes from Tele Atlas. Gartner says Garmin sees no immediate reason for that to change.

But the view could be different at MiTAC, the Taiwanese electronics manufacturer that shook up the market last year with its Mio line of personal navigation devices. MiTAC is said to be Tele Atlas' second-largest customer behind TomTom, and the two companies have had close ties since they first became partners in 2004. Kiyoshi Hamai, Mio's head of North American sales, says the company's relationship with Tele Atlas won't alter. Mio's "continued gains in market share in North America will be unaffected by TomTom's agreement with Tele Atlas, and at this time our partnership with the company will remain intact," Hamai says. "Mio Technology and Tele Atlas have always had a great relationship. We believe Tele Atlas will continue to be an effective partner. That said, we're always looking to improve the navigation experience and deliver a value for our customers. We are constantly investigating suppliers of all types—map data, software, or components."

During the 2006 holiday season, MiTAC made headlines by slashing the price of a product called the DigiWalker to $150 in order to give it a price advantage against products from Garmin, TomTom, and Magellan (see, 12/12/06, "Navigating the GPS Price War"). In February, Mio acquired Navman, a PND company with roots in New Zealand, from Illinois-based boat builder Brunswick (BC), which had owned it since 2004. That was good enough to put MiTAC in a solid third-place position with 20% of the global PND market, behind TomTom's 37% and Garmin's 25%, according to a recent iSuppli market estimate.

Navigating Possible Transactions
Another would-be buyer is Google (GOOG), given its ongoing interest in mapping data and services on Google Maps and Google Earth. It's also a Navteq customer already.

Even if they aren't eyeing a transaction, some companies are likely to reevaluate how they do business with Tele Atlas under TomTom. "If I were big enough I'd acquire Navteq," says H.P. Jin, chief executive of TeleNav, a Silicon Valley startup that specializes in putting navigation on mobile phones. "[Tele Atlas has] created a conflict of interest that they're going to have to address."

But TomTom's head of investor relations, Taco Titulaer, says his company's existing customers have no cause for concern. TomTom's plan, he says, is to create a two-way relationship with its customers, relying not only on Tele Atlas' regularly updated maps, but also on its user base. Typically, navigation devices transmit data in one direction—to the user.

But TomTom's latest line includes two-way devices that can share live data about where they are, giving an up-to-date picture of such things as traffic conditions. TomTom has teamed with Vodafone (VOD) in some European countries, and asks its customers to voluntarily allow their devices to share their location anonymously via wireless phone networks. TomTom President Jocelyn Vigreux says 70% of customers are taking part in the data sharing. "If we don't give comfort to Tele Atlas' other customers, there is the worry that they will walk away," he says. "I'd say to MiTAC, don't be afraid, because what we're going to give you is going to get much better."

Hesseldahl is a reporter for

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From: JakeStraw7/25/2007 11:22:00 AM
   of 211
NAVTEQ Chosen as the Preferred Supplier for Korean-based Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group
Wednesday July 25, 10:46 am ET

In-Vehicle Navigation Introduced in North America and Europe

CHICAGO, July 25 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- NAVTEQ (NYSE: NVT), a leading global supplier of digital map data for vehicle navigation and location-based solutions, today announced its selection as the preferred map provider for the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group. NAVTEQ was chosen as the preferred supplier based on its high-quality map data, single specification, extensive marketing support programs, and collaboration Mando Map and Software (MMS), an affiliate of the Hyundai-Kia Automotive Group.

As early as this year, NAVTEQ will provide maps for a variety of new Hyundai and Kia vehicle models in the United States, Canada, and Eastern and Western Europe. Critical to NAVTEQ's selection as preferred map provider, was an extensive series of tests conducted by Hyundai that confirmed the quality of NAVTEQ® map data.

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From: tech1017/25/2007 3:06:29 PM
   of 211
TomTom to Buy Tele Atlas – Shock Waves Surge Through Navigation Market

July 24, 2007

TomTom plans to buy map data supplier Tele Atlas, supposedly to improve the maps used by millions of drivers, but leading industry analysts say there is more behind the deal.

“As people looked at the growing Location Aware market, it became clear that if you own the data, you can control the market, “says Michael Ippoliti, Research Director, Telematics & Automotive at ABI Research. “Fundamentally, everything hinges on the geospatial data and street-level data that is used to locate people and points-of-interest.”

Creating street-level map data is a tough process, slow and expensive, which is why there are only two major players, says Ippoliti. It is logical that data owners, and owners of data collection technology, are being snapped up by companies with plans in the Location Aware space.

“For TomTom, it will be a huge cost advantage. Map data is the single largest cost element for navigation devices, and when the largest personal navigation device maker can save millions of dollars on licensing fees, it will have significant impact on the marketplace,” says Ippoliti. “TomTom can greatly reduce its costs, while also reducing PND competitors' options, sending them into the arms of NAVTEQ, which gains de facto monopoly power unless TomTom creates a legitimately open business model.”

For navigation device makers, and other users of map data such as automotive suppliers and Web portals, the immediate impact will be small. Map data is modified (compiled) to run on individual device platforms, meaning device makers can compile the data from NAVTEQ or Tele Atlas, or both, without changing how their devices function. As end-users often can’t tell which company supplied the map data, price has become the battlefield, and a price war was looming. Tele Atlas had been very aggressive, making news a few months ago by convincing BMW to switch from NAVTEQ.

Both NAVTEQ and TeleAtlas have begun direct-to-consumer advertising, in the form of logos or tag-lines, saying they supplied the map data for a given device. In the same manner as Intel versus AMD, many consumers don’t care whose sticker is on the device they buy, so long as it does the job.

The merger will bring great relief to NAVTEQ, which has been competing vigorously with Tele Atlas and aggressively pushing for more market share. From the NAVTEQ perspective, its biggest competitor will be handicapped by being associated with a device maker. Other device makers will not want to support the profits of a competitor, and are more likely to choose NAVTEQ as a supplier. “This gives NAVTEQ much greater pricing freedom, and in fact may raise the eyebrows of regulators who could see antitrust concerns,” adds Ippoliti.

It is highly possible that the TeleAltas and TomTom combination may not pass regulatory approval. Despite the claims of due diligence and of creating an open business model, it will be much harder for TeleAltas to continue serving companies who directly compete with TomTom. TeleAltas could discount their map data, but at some point that becomes a money-loser for TomTom.

Word on the street is that TeleAtlas shareholders wanted a stock offer, not the all-cash deal TomTom has proposed. They wanted to share in the presumed growth in value for TomTom due to their acquisition. “So, could someone else swoop in and offer something to TeleAtlas which they can’t refuse? It would have to be a fair amount greater than the TomTom offer, because the deal has a 1% (20 Million Euro) break fee to TomTom, should the TeleAtlas board recommend anyone else’s offer. But at this level of play, 1% isn’t much,” explains Ippoliti.

Speaking of play, it is widely assumed this means NAVTEQ is now in play. There have been many smaller acquisitions of geospatial data companies, but this deal opens up a new level of consolidation. The other PND makers are probably feeling some pressure to snap up the only other street-level data vendor. Meanwhile, other Location Aware players may see this as “their only chance to own the data that underlies the market” according to Ippoliti. NAVTEQ stock jumped over 20% on the news, ending the day up over 18%. The jockeying for position has begun. Google is the obvious first candidate, since their presence and ambition in LBS is well known. Add in Microsoft, Nokia, and the PND makers – things could be very interesting over the next few months.

“Will the Tele Atlas sale actually improve map data?” asks Ippoliti. “TomTom has started collecting user input to modify map databases, a kind of Wiki-Map approach.which is interesting, but not very useful yet. One could argue the shift in competitive forces among map data suppliers may actually harm the quality of maps in the market. In the longer term, the buy-out could be a stimulus for other companies to develop alternative business models for map databases.”

Both TomTom and Tele Atlas are Dutch firms based in the Netherlands; it is hard to say if this will help the sale or not. It certainly simplifies the creation of a combined organization. If there is a required waiting period, or opportunity for counter bids, things could get very interesting. Microsoft, Google, and Nokia have been mentioned as potential bidders. Competitive PND makers such as Garmin and Magellan have to be wondering if their only option is to assemble a buy-out of NAVTEQ.

The market is collectively holding its breath waiting on the other shoe drop.

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From: tech1017/27/2007 1:47:06 AM
   of 211
UPDATE: Navigation Co Mio Demands Guarantees From Tele Atlas

Jul 26, 2007 11:29:33 (ET)

(This updates a story published at 1331 GMT to add comment from TomTom.)

By Mathijs Schiffers, Of DOW JONES NEWSWIRES

AMSTERDAM (Dow Jones)--Mio Technology is considering switching road map suppliers if it doesn't get clear guarantees from its map supplier Tele Atlas NV (23394.AE) and from TomTom NV (38705.AE) to safeguard confidentiality after these two companies have merged, Mio's President Paul Notteboom told Dow Jones Newswires Thursday.

Mio Technology, as part of Mitac Inc. (8122.OT), makes navigation devices used in cars. Mio buys all the maps used in its navigation equipment from Tele Atlas, which is about to be bought by TomTom, one of Mio's strongest competitors.

Notteboom said he will talk to the management of Tele Atlas "and hopefully TomTom," sometime "in the coming weeks."

If Mio can't get clear guarantees, the company will consider switching to the only other global digital map supplier for navigation devices, Navteq Corp. (NVT), Notteboom said.

"If we develop a new product, then we do that in close cooperation (with Tele Atlas) and we can't accept that our main competitor knows about this," Notteboom said, adding that this is Mio's "key concern" regarding TomTom's plan to buy Tele Atlas as announced Monday.

TomTom's spokesman, Taco Titulaer, said Tele Atlas will be put "at arm's length" after the acquisition, and will operate as a seperate company. He said so far only the intention of a bid has been announced, and therefore it isn't up to TomTom to talk to customers of Tele Atlas at this stage.

Tele Atlas wasn't immediately available for comment.

Mio Technology is the third largest provider measured by units shipped in the booming market for personal navigation devices, after TomTom and Cayman Islands-based Garmin Ltd. (GRMN). Its market share in Europe, the Middle East and Africa in the first quarter of the year was 17.7%, including the recently acquired brand of Navman, based on estimates by research company Canalys.

Analysts and market watchers applauded TomTom's plan to buy Tele Atlas for EUR2 billion, including cash, but they said the potential loss of clients by Tele Atlas is one of the main risks of the deal.

TomTom itself represented 30% of Tele Atlas' sales in the first quarter of the year.

-By Mathijs Schiffers; Dow Jones Newswires +31-20-5890270;

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

July 26, 2007 11:29 ET (15:29 GMT)

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