Why Is TomTom's iPhone App Still $100?
Tuesday, November 17, 2009; 12:19 AM
Apparently TomTom hasn't fully digested the memo on Google Maps Navigation, because the price for TomTom's iPhone navigation app hasn't budged at all in its latest update.
If you want the power of TomTom's GPS navigation on your iPhone, it'll cost you $100, same as ever. This is despite Google's free Maps Navigation app for Motorola's Droid and future Android 2.0 phones.
Now, I know we're talking about different phones, but it may only be a matter of time before Google's app comes to the iPhone as well. AppleInsider has reported that the ball is in Apple's court to approve the app. I'm taking bets on how that'll pan out, but still, Google's move should be putting pressure on the competition. Accordingly, shares of both TomTom and Garmin plummeted when Google Maps Navigation was revealed.
The latest TomTom update does seem a bit like a counter-attack, coming just a couple weeks after Google's announcement. One of TomTom's new features, text-to-speech directions and points of interest, is included in Google's new app. Another, Advanced Lane Guidance, is a much-needed feature that gives detailed instructions at confusing intersections.
However, at the same price as a basic GPS device, I wonder if the looming presence of Google will keep users away from TomTom's app. I can certainly hold out to see if iPhone support for Google Maps Navigation is on the way.
I'm not saying TomTom's app should be free. Unlike Google Maps Navigation, the TomTom iPhone app stores maps on the phone, so you won't have to rely on the cloud to get directions. But $100 is a lot of cash to sink into a service when something similar might be offered for free in the future. TomTom ought to sweeten the deal.