06 October 2007

Location, location, location

Nearly 35m portable navigation devices (PND) will be sold around the world this year, twice as many as in 2006, making personal navigation one of the fastest-growing areas in consumer electronics. The latest versions of these gadgets do more than simply show the stubborn or shy the way. The industry is beginning to focus on the services PNDs could provide, prompting a scramble for the ownership of the digital maps they use. Nokia, the world's largest mobile-phone maker, said that it would acquire Navteq, the world's biggest maker of digital maps, for €5.7 billion. In July, TomTom, a leading PND vendor from the Netherlands, announced plans to buy Tele Atlas, the next biggest mapmaker, for €1.8 billion.