The Wall Street Journal today announced on June 10th that TomTom will launch a navigation software and a car kit for Apple iPhone. The software is available in the Apple iTunes App Store. This announcement caused a 17% increase in TomTom's shares. TomTom is a Dutch business. Investors saw this option as a possibility for TomTom to increase its sales against the Garmin leader.
However, for me, this raises another question. First, you need to buy the iPhone navigation software, and then if you want to use the car where it is to be used, you need to buy the hardware kit. Who saw something made for the iPhone that was cheap? Especially because you have two companies here that need to benefit, as this is a joint effort. In addition, the article does not say that the software will work on new 3G phones announced by Apple this week.
OK, what's the point with all this? Would not it be cheaper to buy a dedicated GPS navigation system for the car? I feel that GPS navigation systems are not as effective and not as simple as portable GPS devices. They do not have all the options that Gamin GPS has. There is also a safety factor. I do not see that Apple's screen is as visible in the car as a portable GPS. I guess that depends on where you build it. Telephony navigation systems never let go.
I know this announcement brings iPhone one step closer to making the "everything" phone. This is the exact situation that Apple and ATT want. But I do not see where it will be very comfortable in the car to attach the iPhone, watch your iPhone and answer the iPhone in the car. Not much success was achieved in the profits of software / hardware collaboration, but I was wrong in the past. These products are expected to start this summer. No specific date is specified.