The move from in-car navigation devices towards software-based navigation systems on mobile phones and personal devices is happening faster than many realise, according to a recent survey by ABI Research.
In 2009, almost 95 per cent of revenues came from established, hardware-based technologies such as factory-fitted navigation and unconnected personal navigation devices.
Revenues from software-focused markets such as handset-based navigation and online navigation devices such as Google Maps were negligible.
But by 2014, more than 60 per cent of the total installed base will consist of software-based navigation solutions, a market primarily funded by advertising rather than direct fees.
The research estimates that by 2016, the revenues from the two sectors will be evenly divided in a 50:50 split.
ABI Research senior analyst Patrick Connolly said the move signals the beginning of the end for the in-car navigation market.
“For years (world economic crash aside) the in-car navigation market has grown relatively unabated,” he said.
“However, with penetration rates in some regions approaching 50 per cent, software starts to become more competitive. The result is a clear transition away from pure hardware sales to software based-solutions and revenues.”
Many navigation manufacturers such as TomTom and Garmin are looking to innovate into the personal device market.
Meanwhile, the rapid growth of location-based advertising will create a viable alternative revenue stream to the subscription services used by these firms at the moment.