mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Oh noes... tom-tom in trouble-trouble!

Wired has an article that GPS makers, especially Tom-Tom, are reporting lower earnings.

I own a Tom-Tom One, a refurb I bought in October for $170... right before they hit $125 for new ones on Black Friday. Still, it was a great purchase. Sure, most of the time I don't need it, because I know how to get to work and Target and the 'rents house in NJ. But it's come in handy a number of times - auctions, parties, and especially my trip to Indiana for work a few months back.

I like the Tom-Tom interface - it's easy to use, accurate, can be customized easily with waypoints, and is easily portable. Prior to the Tom-Tom, I had a Pharos DriveStation 135 - which worked ok, until bsom and I got the idea of hacking it to run Tom-Tom software, since it was basically a windows mobile device. That didn't work so well, and I still need to get it restored back to factory so I can list it on eBay.

It is amazing how cheap GPS devices have become. Tom-Tom was always a premium brand, more expensive than the generics, but of late has been pretty price-competitive with the cheap, never-heard-of them brands. I'm wondering if that's hurt them, tarnished the premium brand. But as more cars begin to be equipped with built-in GPS, demand for high-end units shrinks.

Personally, I prefer portable - easier to take to a rental car or someone else's car. And I'm glad I'm benefiting from getting a higher-end product cheaply. But I hope Tom-Tom can survive long-term.


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