TomTom, one of the leading personal navigation device (PND) makers and GPS software makers for Windows Mobile, and more recently the iPhone, has signed up to port its voice guided turn-by-turn navigation solution to Google’s Android platform. It seems that the Android love may be spurred by HTC’s embrace of the platform–TomTom and HTC has had a relationship in the past with the former’s software appearing in some versions of the latter’s Windows Mobile hardware, especially in the European and Asian markets.
According to TomTom, the deal is in part credited to HTC being a major partner. HTC has been and remains a major Windows Mobile device maker, but the company has since stated that it will move its production to be split equally between Windows Mobile and Android in the future.
“We cannot ignore such a successful platform as Android. HTC is an important partner of ours and Android is becoming increasingly important too.”
Additionally, TomTom dismisses RIM initially due to the fact that a significant number of BlackBerry devices have no touchscreen, a requirement that TomTom deems as essential for the sat-nav market. RIM produces mostly non-touchscreen, candybar form QWERTY devices, except for the Storm franchise which eschews the QWERTY for a large touchscreen like the iPhone.
“I do not question the opportunity that RIM might offer but we know that a satnav device needs to have a large touchscreen and voice commands to be able to work for turn-by-turn navigation. We come from a PDA background and we know what will work.”