View Single Post
Old 06-15-2009, 07:07 AM   #67
living @ 11.5740741uHz
PRW's Avatar
Joined: Mar 2003
Location: Chicago
Oddometer: 1,092
Originally Posted by EmmEff
I don't think it's quite that simple. Despite what Apple wants you to think, most people do not have an iPhone. Also, the screen size alone is probably the biggest differentiating factor.
I think it is that simple - since you've already simplified their marketing strategy as purely a mass market one. I'm not only addressing iPhone - any smartphone (BlackBerry, Palm, et. al) includes, or soon will include, the nuvi-like feature/functionality. And so you're suggesting that Garmin's entire market positioning and competitive differentiation boils down to...SCREEN SIZE?! It's brilliant market strategy and business sustainability will be as a screen size marketer? Not viable over the long run, IMO.

IOW, if I understand your hypothesis on Garmin's business plan, soccer moms (using that segment to denote generic mass market users) will buy/carry/charge/maintain a separate GPS device when their smartphones and/or hybrid minivans have the same functionality built-in (actually less without an internet connection), simply because the separate device has a screen a couple of centimeters larger? And oh - by the way, Garmin doesn't manufacture their own VGA displays. Hmmm...if I'm on Garmin's Board of Directors, I'm VERY worried about that business plan...

Originally Posted by EmmEff
While having a fully-featured navigational system in your smartphone is a neat idea, I don't think it's a feature that most people will take advantage of.
Again, if you're talking about an unsophisticated mass market user that simply needs to get from here to there, I disagree - it's only a matter of learning curve and form-factor adoption. If there's a need for a navigation aid, as opposed to simply having another cool toy, the excitement for which will quickly wane (i.e. nuvi), having that aid conveniently with you on one device that you're always carrying anyway just makes sense. How many folks, who have even a basic level smartphone, carry around calculators, pocket electronic dictionaries and travel clocks these days?

Sophisticated and/or specialized users on the other hand, like many of us on this forum, WILL invest in a separate device - which is the market segment you note below that Garmin will likely "cut off entirely."

Originally Posted by EmmEff
They started out in the specialized market, realized the auto market was much more lucrative and the rest is history... As much as I'd like to believe it, I can't see them going back to their roots. In fact, quite the opposite, they might just cut it off entirely.
Right - but markets evolve and/or change completely - good technology invariably becomes ubiquitous and successful firms that were significant players in the game either adapt or die. In this case, the mass "auto market" WAS lucrative, until the issues that I raise have, and will rapidly continue to, provide a demand substitute for a specialized device like an archaic nuvi.
When Im riding my motorcycle, Im glad to be alive and when I stop riding my motorcycle, Im glad to be alive. -Neil Peart

2008 R1200GS (Slate Gray Metallic Matt)
2003 R1150GS (Night Black)
PRW is offline   Reply With Quote