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News: TomTom Diversifies In The Hunt For Profits

If you follow TomTom on social media you'd be forgiven for forgetting they are a GPS and mapping company, they are working very hard to push their Spark Watch and Bandit camera and speak of little else of late.

TomTom were slow to recognise the growth of smartphones and the free navigation app offered by Google, surprising perhaps given that TomTom began with mapping apps for the early PDAs before launching the TomTom GO in 2004. As sales of smartphones sky rockets sales of PNDs plummeted leaving TomTom with dwindling revenues and occasional dips into net loss.

Their acquisition of TeleAtlas has enabled them to diversify into mapping but the revenues are small and the upkeep of the software, capturing changes and running survey teams means running costs are high.

A few years back they began to offer a GPS smartwatch, initially in partnership with Nike, and a growing range is now available. That may well be a smart move, sports and fitness wearables is a growing market with strong sales but earlier this year they launched the Bandit camera, their attempt to grab a slice of the GoPro market. That is perhaps a less savvy move.

GoPro sales consume the lions share of the market and it's difficult to see how the TomTom brand fits into this space. The Bandit camera has met with mixed reviews, so unique features and design touches help but not enough to steal a lead from GoPro, the undisputed leader in this product category.

So what lies ahead for TomTom? The road ahead is far from certain, factory fit automotive sales are growing but the heady days of the early noughties where sales where measured in the billions are unlikely to be seen again. The market is very different now and it remains to be seen if TomTom can stake a big enough claim in the new market areas to ensure its long term survival.

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Posted on Thursday, November 19 @ 07:25:43 UTC by Darren Griffin

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