HD Traffic USA

Discussion in 'TomTom News & Announcements' started by davidalan99, May 13, 2011.

  1. davidalan99

    davidalan99

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    From TWICE (this week in consumer electronics)
    \By Joseph Palenchar -- TWICE, 5/12/2011


    New York - TomTom plans to license out its cellular-delivered HD (High Density) Traffic service to other consumer-product companies for use in OEM and aftermarket navigation systems, smartphones, competing-brand portable navigation devices (PNDs), and other CE devices.

    Co-founder/CEO Harold Goddjin also announced yesterday the Netherlands-based company will offer the technology to government agencies and enterprises with fleets of vehicles as part of what it calls its long-term "Mission to Reduce Traffic For All."

    The service is already available in 18 other countries, mostly in Europe, and has reduced travel times in those countries by up to 15 percent, Goddjin said.

    Also to boost U.S. takeup of HD Traffic, TomTom:

    · extended the service, previously available only on the new $349-suggested GO 2535 M LIVE, to two other previously available cellular-equipped PNDs. Those models, the GO 740 LIVE and XL 340 LIVE, previously received a less robust traffic service.

    · reduced the price of cellular-delivered GO LIVE service, which includes traffic data, to an annual $59.95, a 50 percent reduction. Like before, a free 12-month subscription is included with the purchase of a compatible TomTom PND.

    LIVE services include Google Local Search, fuel price updates, and five-day weather forecasts.

    As part of the LIVE service, TomTom's HD Traffic delivers traffic updates more frequently than such competing traffic services as Clear Channel's FM-RDS (RDS-TMC) TMC and FM-HD Radio-delivered traffic services, and it covers far more markets and delivers traffic information about more roadways within those markets than the rival services, the company said.

    HD Traffic monitors traffic on 6 million miles of primary and secondary roads, including roads in rural areas, and it delivers the information to consumers anywhere AT&T's GPRS cellular-data coverage extends, said senior product manager Mike Villarreal. In contrast, the RDS-TMC and HD Radio services, as well as rival cellular-based services, use a traffic database limited to no more than 500,000 miles of roadways, and they do not cover nearly as many secondary roads, he said. In addition, radio-based traffic services are available only in about 110 markets, based on the number of FM stations broadcasting traffic data.

    Another HD Traffic advantage is the delivery of traffic updates every two minutes compared to radio-station-based updates that arrive about every 15 minutes, the company said. As a result, drivers don't receive information about "ghost jams" that have already cleared up, TomTom said.

    For its service, TomTom collects real-time traffic-flow information from users of cellular-equipped TomTom PNDs, iPhones outfitted with TomTom navigation software, and navigation-equipped fleet vehicles. Traffic-incident data is collected from third parties.

    The real-time information is used by TomTom PNDs to calculate the fastest route to a destination. As with other TomTom PNDs, route calculations are also based on historical speeds on roads by time of day and day of week.

    TomTom's service also covers more markets than satellite-radio-delivered Sirius Traffic, which delivers traffic-incident and traffic-flow information in more than 100 markets in the U.S. and Canada, the Sirius XM web site says. The service delivers information about primary freeways and interstates in those markets as well as "local information in select markets," the web site adds.
     
    davidalan99, May 13, 2011
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  2. davidalan99

    mikealder Moderator

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    What about the iPhone North American app, we have the benefit of HD Traffic in Europe (where coverage exists, which is subscription based but cheaper than the PND Live HD Traffic subscription) - Mike
     
    mikealder, May 13, 2011
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  3. davidalan99

    Pedro2NR

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    I would like to also know about the iPhone NA app.
    I have a feeling if Apple made a native navigation app in the introductory of iOS5, TomTom and others may improve their services to compete.
     
    Pedro2NR, May 17, 2011
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  4. davidalan99

    offthegrid

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    Apple is building a map database along with navigation and traffic. Frankly I'm betting they are talking with TomTom to cut the time to market. Apple could swallow TomTom whole for next to nothing considering their cash position. It would give TomTom more clout also.
     
    offthegrid, May 19, 2011
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  5. davidalan99

    canderson Moderator

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    At least TomTom could explain to them the necessity of encrypting their tracking files :p I've used TomTom's approach to this issue several times in pointing out that Apple was negligent in their approach (ref recent controversy about Apple's tracking files - not encrypted, not deleted after transmission).
     
    canderson, May 19, 2011
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  6. davidalan99

    gatorguy

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    I don't expect any Apple-branded navigation app until at least next year. They've had other fish to fry and don't appear to be very far along with their mapping or already stated traffic plans.

    Somewhat related, Android (free) and iOS (small charge) users here might want to take a look at the latest Inrix Traffic product, ver. 3.0. Where TT shows traffic issues that are worse than expected according to IQR, Inrix takes this a step further. They also color code traffic that's moving faster/smoother than expected, something TT doesn't. For metro drivers this could be a big timesaver if you find that 5:00 jam on the normally fast way home isn't jammed today.
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2011
    gatorguy, May 20, 2011
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  7. davidalan99

    offthegrid

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    That's why Apple will buy TomTom for next to nothing and cut their time to market.


     
    offthegrid, May 22, 2011
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  8. davidalan99

    mvl Moderator

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    Tomtom has a large portion of shares owned by the founders of Tomtom and Teleatlas.

    It will take more than just cash for Apple to buy them out.

    Also I don't think it is a great fit. Tomtom's strategy is on deploying to mass market, and Apple goes after the affluent segment.
     
    mvl, May 22, 2011
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  9. davidalan99

    canderson Moderator

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    Current market cap is around $1.8 billion, and the current ownership probably wouldn't give it up that easily. Not sure I'd call that 'next to nothing'.

    Apple would have to do something truly serious with what they'd own if they expected to ever see any ROI.
     
    canderson, May 22, 2011
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  10. davidalan99

    Pedro2NR

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    Back in the December of 2010, Apple had four identical job listings for software engineers experienced in developing navigation software.

    This suggested that Apple is planning to build its own navigation application for the iPhone.

    The hires, and the mention of navigation software, could signal that Apple is gearing up to build its own personal navigation tools into the iOS mobile operating system. Apple's chief competitor in the mobile space, Google, introduced its own turn-by-turn software for Android devices over a year ago.

    source
     
    Pedro2NR, May 23, 2011
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  11. davidalan99

    offthegrid

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    Apple is sitting on nearly $60 billion in cash and their market value is almost $310 billion. Yeah TomTom would be 'next to nothing' relatively speaking. What would $10 billion in shares plus paying off the debt look like to TomTom's founders?

    Apple admitted that they are building a traffic product and they've been buying smaller map players for a couple of years now. Navigation can't be far behind.

    They can muddle around for a couple more years or they can belly up to the bar and loosen up some cash and shares. TomTom's founders would have to be daft to turn down any offers considering where the navigation market is headed - 80% free and a dogfight with Garmin for 20% of the market.

    TomTom never bothered to port into Android - Why? For the same reason a free Apple's app will kill their iphone app to a great extent.


    Apple Hints at Future Turn-by-Turn GPS Directions With Traffic for iPhone - MacRumors.com

    How much does Google make from their free Nav and traffic products? What's their ROI on that? They spent years and years building those up.

     
    offthegrid, May 24, 2011
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  12. davidalan99

    canderson Moderator

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    Unlike TomTom, Google isn't a 1 trick pony.

    Frankly, I'm surprised you haven't considered that Apple should buy Nokia, bury those phones once and for all (they haven't sold that well lately) and get NavTeq for themselves. Instant mapping company. (Sure did Nokia a bundle of good, didn't it?) Then they could hold Garmin hostage and ..

    ... man, is this getting silly or ???
     
    canderson, May 24, 2011
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  13. davidalan99

    offthegrid

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    Microsoft has control over Nokia now and they'll probably buy them at some point but why buy that which you already have control of?

    Don't get me wrong here I love TomTom. IMO Apple would be the Sugar Daddy that they need and frankly deserve to do what they want.

    By saying that Google isn't a one trick pony did that address why TomTom never ported to Android? Too many resources for too little return. If they don't grab a train ride from a phone manufacturer that wants to provide free nav their long term prospects are poor. Apple and RIM are the only possible suitors. That's just how I see it.

    TT is moving into fleet management and trying to sell their traffic data both good ideas and of course their Nike tie in is nice also but Garmin with the boating and airplane products along with being entrenched with joggers and geo cachers
    is really much less dependent on auto gps products.

    I cite as partial evidence

    1 - TT's failure to procure a $contract$ with a North American cell provider in order to have a true HD Traffic here. I mean how can they tout their HD Traffic in Europe as being far superior in great part due to the cell traces they use on one hand and then say they don't need that in North America? You'd have to have fallen off a turnip truck to believe that.

    2 - Their clearly far too early release of the next gen connected products. They are stumbling with this and still are trying to provide base functions whereas they talked about webkit apps last summer prior to any release.

    3 - The poor performance of the stock and their ever dropping revenue stream. They finally came out and said they expect the PND market to get smaller and smaller at a greater pace than they previously predicted which is in line with what the market sees.

    4 - Many moves based on cost savings rather than product quality such as their eventual replacement of Google search with TomTom Local Search. Raise your hand if you believe that will be as good as Google.

    5 - Lastly their stock had a significant bump about a month ago and they denied rumors of a sale of TeleAtlas (which they have written off as a loss). They were approached and its not the first time either. Sure they said they are not selling TA but never denied that they whole kit and caboodle aren't up for grabs.

    Silly? Sprint was in talks with T-Mobile for over a year about a merger and the rumors were denied and denied till after AT&T swooped in at the last minute. TomTom flies much further under the radar than do those giants.

    Silly? Tell that to people who were invested in DEC, Wang, Apollo and many other computer manufacturers who did not adapt to the pc revolution.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2011
    offthegrid, May 29, 2011
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  14. davidalan99

    canderson Moderator

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    Just because Nokia bailed on Symbian for all but their cheaper phones (an interesting but ultimately 'fringe' OS) in favor of something they could license (Win7 mobile), I don't see how that gives Microsoft 'control' over Nokia -- any more than it gives Microsoft control over any of the other bazillion OEMs that uses a Windows OS as their primary OS. If Nokia had taken up with Android, they'd have just been one of an increasing number of hardware vendors. They needed (badly) a differentiator, and heaven knows Microsoft needs a phone for their Win7 product.

    As to the rumors about a Microsoft buyout of Nokia's mobile division that came up a week or two ago -- most think it's very unlikely. Could happen, but Microsoft's ventures into branded hardware haven't been exactly exemplary.
     
    canderson, May 30, 2011
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  15. davidalan99

    offthegrid

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    I'm just speculating on this anyway but usually where there is smoke fire is not far behind.

     
    offthegrid, May 30, 2011
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  16. davidalan99

    canderson Moderator

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    And many times in the tech market, where there's smoke, there's just more smoke. The rumor of the rumor is that it may have started at Nokia. Nokia's 'recently' arrived CEO (Elop) is, AFAIK, also sitting on a bunch of Microsoft stock.
     
    canderson, May 30, 2011
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