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Rumour control: TomTom seeking iPhone developer candidate?

 
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 9:10 am    Post subject: Rumour control: TomTom seeking iPhone developer candidate? Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.comIt's rather a large assumption but I see it is now being posted across various websites.

A job listing on this site seeks an iPhone Developer for a role based in Amsterdam relating to 'navigation software'.

Now this could be nothing to do with TomTom but they are headquartered in Amsterdam so it also may just well be.

It is well known that they are keen to get Tomtom Navigator out on iPhone and even had a working version running shortly after the GPS equipped second generation iPhone was launched.

In discussions with TomTom last year they were keen to drop hints that they had already recruited a former senior Apple employee and would be working towards a solution as soon as it was permitted.

Now, with OS 3.0 announced in Jan and support for full navigation applications announced it seems likely that there will be a great deal of movement in this area come the assumed public release date of June 6th.

Watch this space.
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Privateer
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 11:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think that TomTom should now keep to PNDs!

In the days before the original GO, TomTom developed Navigator software solely for Palms and PDAs. Once the PND market took off, TomTom dropped the PDAs and around the same time, TomTom also dropped the compatibility of their own SDK which stopped third parties from developing add-on applications for TomTom products.

Now it appears that TomTom want to jump onto the "trendy" iPhone band wagon. Surely if TomTom want to take on the mobile phone market then it would make sense to develop for the widest market! Looking at the Wikipedia Smartphone definition, iPhone has only 10.7% market share and is beaten by MS Windows Mobile (12.4%), Blackberry (19.5%), and Symbian (47.1%).

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Mullet
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 12:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Privateer wrote:
I think that TomTom should now keep to PNDs!

Please do not apply Wink

Quote:
Now it appears that TomTom want to jump onto the "trendy" iPhone band wagon.


My thoughts are with the App Store method of distribution. This should be less susceptible to abuse.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 12:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite, far from being Trendy, iPhone has demonstrated a new channel for distribution of software, one that makes it simple to buy, simple to install and simple to support.

That alone has meant iPhone users buy more apps than any other device platform and that is an excellent reason to buy-in to iPhone.
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That would be quite a change of heart from their stated intentions about 90 days ago:

"TomTom’s CEO Harold Goddijn, speaking today at the Fourth quarter conference call earnings with analysts, once again clarified the strategy of its company towards the mobile industry. . .
“If you look at our business strategy in mobile”, he said,” I don’t think we should aim to develops tens of small applications, with different phones, different form factors, different operating systems and different functions. That is an awful of complexities to deal with. I don’t think it would be a good strategy for us to try to do everything ourselves and build large engineering teams to do specific applications for very specific phones or network operators.
However, our strategy is based on the idea of making it simple for networks operators, handsets manufacturers and systems integrators to use Tele Atlas maps in their mobile applications and that involves not only the content but it also involves technology to be able to deploy that content in a very cost effective way that shortens the time to market and the cost of developing these applications."

Doesn't that , reduced to plain English, say they have no plans for offering a mobile nav app for the mobile phone community, instead concentrating on TeleAtlas mapping for them?[/b]
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That is one way of reading it for sure but Harold's statement can be read as saying they don't plan to develop for a myriad of different systems. That is not the same as suggesting they will cease offering PPC nor does it suggest they won't consider development on other platforms where they think they can recoup development costs.

Of course thisrecruitment may simply be for behind the scenes development to leverage the power of TeleAtlas/TT for other brands but I can see the PR benefits of getting TT onto iPhone.

Let's be realistic here. iPhone gets more column inches than any other brand/model and so a Nav app for iPhone would bring a lot of traffic and free advertising TomTom's way.
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren, I certainly agree that TomTom could see benefits out-weighing the costs in offering an iPhone solution, IMO. But I don't see any reason for bringing up the mobile app intentions at all in the statements, unless he wanted to put to rest the rumors of an imminent iPhone solution from TomTom, which was widely reported to be in the final testing stages. Of course, he can always change his mind. Smile
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There is also the advert that hit the streets last week that TTN7 is going on sale soon for a range of PPC based devices, this would also appear to be against what the CEO said three months ago. Perhaps its time to ask TT some questions on PC and iPhone in the morning? - Mike
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent suggestion Mike! While it's fun to "suppose", nothing beats a direct statement.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I shall be asking TomTom for comment on both iPhone and TTN7 Retail.

I don't expect them to give a statement on iPhone but I am hoping for some explanation of the ongoing TTN debacle, particularly now it appears it will be offered through retail as an app only item despite TT's claims to the contrary.
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 11:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

At this year's Mobile World Congress when TomTom refused to speak to me there was a presentation given by TomTom.

The implications of this presentation were that TomTom were entering the mobile market, but not with a product, but with a navigation tool kit. It does actually make sense to create a number of different versions of the core product for mobile when you consider that the margins in PNDs have fallen to very small figures. The PND market is reaching saturation point.

Where can SatNav companies look to earn revenue in this current environment? Upsell new data or services to existing clients, something that has a proven poor take up rate. The answer is obvious: Do the same as they did with the loyal and faithful PDA market... Find a new market to enter.

Mobile phones are so ubiquitous that there are more phones than people in the UK. If you can gain just 1% of that market you will have far greater coverage than PDA and PNDs put together. It is not exactly rocket science, but it does mean getting deals made with the Telcos and pushing products through those channels. Why not start with the iPhone, then android, then hit the Ovi store... dont forget Blackberry is out there waiting too...
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PostPosted: Sun May 10, 2009 11:03 pm    Post subject: Re: Rumour control: TomTom seeking iPhone developer candida Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
A job listing on this site seeks an iPhone Developer for a role based in Amsterdam relating to 'navigation software'.

Dont forget there are a number of players that have development shops in Amsterdam, Route66 for example.
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 12:02 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the software is written correctly then it should use the phone to check for license details thus getting rid of the issues of blatent piracy for the PPC device - No license = No navigation, its quite simple and with a GPRS equipped phone it shouldn't be too difficult to enforce and make effective.

Couple this to the iPhone capability and the "app store" then it gets rather interesting, do they create a method to dowload a 2GB map file to an iPhone via the 3G connection (which won't work) or only let this occur via a PC/ Mac internet connection - interesting times ahead if it is indeed TT that are looking at iPhone. If true this will also require powered car holders as the current battery performance on the 3G iPhone is nothing short of pathetic when you hammer the device for a day out.

Route 66 was my first initial though for the advert, although they need to sort their PPC application out before basing anything else on this application, R66 vs8 is a major step in the wrong direction. The previous version was a cracking bit of software, the new one doesn't come anywhere close, if it is R66 that are looking to port their apps to the iPhone please consider looking at what version 7 offered, its a much neater navigation application than the current rubbish - Mike
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 7:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren,

When discussing TTN7/8, please can you get confirmation on what they are doing regarding Symbian? It's been over 2 years since the last update of the app, over 18 months since the last maps, still have no (offical) method of using on board (serial) GPS, no touch screens and probably the worse thing is no communication.

I know a press release earlier this year hinted at something new and it looked like to was going the be data stream based (3G/GPRS), but we have heard nothing since.
TT - Not Good Enough; want my money? Then provide me with something to buy, else - just on maps, I'll need to go elsewhere.
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PostPosted: Mon May 11, 2009 4:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Knowing TT's arrogance and greed painfully well, I implore Nav owners not to support any appearance of their application(s) appearing on a new platform - if we allow them to get away with this it'll be validating their attitude of abandoning loyal customers and failing to communicate the facts clearly, as and when its suits them; it's not a message that needs sending out, believe me.

I believe TT have their eye on the OTA subscription model; it's no coincidence that OS3 will support both turn by turn and - for any app that isn't offered free - support for in-app subscription pricing.

As someone who needs GPS in multiple territories, the idea of paying for roaming bandwidth to access maps or even just to validate a software license, this just isn't acceptable. I also don't want to rely on signal quality to access maps, so I want to be able to download the full map(s) as required from the desktop/WiFi and carry it safe in the knowledge that no network failure is going to leave me lost in the middle of nowhere.

Please let OS3 enable new, adventurous and more customer-focussed developers to offer solutions; there are some truly fantastic application developers out there.
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