The search engine is getting serious about moving into the big business with GPS (global positioning system) solutions. Google announced last week that it is putting out its brand new “Android 2.0” software, which is GPS-compatible. Motorola plans to introduce its cell phone “Droid,” which features for the time “Google Maps Navigation” system this week.
We hear that the necessary software will be free of charge, but as of now the system is limited to the U.S. It is widely expected that Google’s move does not – at least as of now – mean a major challenge to the established GPS brands in the field of handheld products for outdoor and cycle purposes, but might mean a major blow to them in the automotive sector.
In fact, the stocks of both Garmin and TomTom suffered significantly after Google’s announcement. Apparently the two companies’ shareholders reacted nervously after learning of the search engine’s initiative. In the second half of last week, the Garmin stock lost some 13 percent in average, while TomTom’s stock dropped by around 20 percent.