Smartphones are competing with dedicated personal navigation devices (PNDs) for market share but recent research shows that PNDs are still preferred for in-car navigation. Smartphones can begin to win more market share by improving their user experience and integrating popular social networking and location based services.
Usage of mobile mapping and navigation services is booming. Almost a year ago Nokia announced that its mobile navigation service, Ovi Maps, would be free with a compatible Nokia handset. In the first week alone the service had been downloaded over 1.4 million times. According to Wikipedia Ovi Maps is now available in 74 countries and in 46 different languages. Similarly, Google now offers its mobile navigation services in 12 countries and it has proved a big hit with Google Android smartphone owners. Consequently, in the space of a couple of years the PND market has changed dramatically, with global in car satellite navigation providers such as TomTom and Garmin facing fresh competition from the all gadget devouring smartphone.