Google has really given the Sat-nav industry a bloody nose and it looks like some-one could get knocked out!
Considering the blow landed just before last weekend shareholders in many companies around the world may have been holding their breaths this morning waiting to see if their shares would rebound. Both the Times (Google Maps Navigation hits shares in sat-nav manufacturers) and the BBC (Free Google sat-nav shakes market) report that popular Sat-nav makers TomTom and Garmin won’t be recovering too easily from this fight.
The upstart to all of this might be one of finance and beating back some of the rivals. Business is business. But there’s surely a much longer and protracted game plan here. Google rightly have the software to back up such dramatic exposure to an industry they have not yet been practically involved in but know everything about regarding maps.
An very interesting remark in the Times leaves no doubt where they stand on their competitors grasping for straws:
“Obviously, we like the price of free and consumers like that as well,” Eric Schmidt, the chief executive, said, adding that expanding into a new market with new competitors was not a part of Google’s motivation. Google would figure out how to make money from the product later, he said.”
European CEOs must froth at the mouth at statements like this.
Perhaps they really don’t know or care how they will monetize this new opportunity but one thing is for sure they know exactly where this whole venture is leading. Their Smartphone system
“..combines services including a search engine to find addresses, Google Street View for photos of locations, and live traffic data.”
In short, think virtual world on steriods. Having streetview data etc displayed is just the beginning. Providing the test goes well Google will be shortly be introducing a whole new world of location based services that will not only be passive but invite the user into the sat-nav to interact and of course buy products – even reserve them from the warm seats of their cars.
Low and behold the tablet of the map world is about to hit our front windscreens.