Philips leaves before it arrives

A couple of months ago we reported that Europe’s biggest electronic manufacturer had decided to enter the in-car satnav market in its own right, having previously built branded units for German car makers.

Now the company has decided to withdraw from the market, even before its products started to arrive on retailers’’ shelves.

Philips cited the crowded marketplace and low profitability. Certainly the market is hotting up, with established satnav suppliers like Garmin and TomTom facing serious competition from newcomers on the hardware side, GPS-embedded smartphones like Mio A310 and the Benefon Twig, and add-on location software solutions for existing handsets such as Navig8 and CoPilot.

Philips had announced three fairly conventional devices back in June, and was showing prototypes at a trade fair a couple of months later. The design was based on a docking station in the car that had all the controls and speakers too. The starter price was not radically out of line with existing satnavs at around £299.

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