TomTom is making an iPhone GPS software


Since the new iPhone 3G has GPS, a big touchscreen, and a speaker, some see it as a real threat to current in-car navigation systems from the likes of Garmin. And by estimation the GPS companies should be worried, although the GPS-enabled Google Maps application shown yesterday didn't include turn-by-turn directions and other features expected out of a proper GPS unit. But as soon as a third-party made a nice navigation system the iPhone 3G might give the other GPS companies a run for their money.

Money that a smart company — say, TomTom — has decided they'll try to keep for themselves. From Reuters:

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Dutch navigation device maker TomTom already has a version of its navigation software running on Apple's iPhone and has plans to sell it to consumers, a spokesman said on Monday.

Well played!

TomTom says navigation app already runs on iPhone [Reuters]

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  1. Section 3.3.7: Location Services:

    Applications may not be designed or marketed for real time route guidance; automatic or autonomous control of vehicles, aircraft, or other mechanical devices; dispatch or fleet management; or emergency or life-saving purposes.

  2. Thank god for section 3.3.7! I just bought an expensive Garmin, and I would have felt like a schmuck if not for the prohibitions in the iPhone SDK against direct competition with devices that can provide real time route guidance.

  3. Woody/Matt:

    Do either of you know whether that’s about legal repercussions of mishap (for instance a vehicle relying on the iPhone has an accident due to bad network, etc.), or about locking down licensing for the specific realtime-guidance market on the iPhone platform?

  4. Given the fact that you cannot sell Apple iPhone software except through the Apple iPhone software store, I suspect the legal repercussion of breaking section 3.3.7 would be not being listed on Apple’s store.

    Sucks, really: the best thing I can see for something like the TomTom software would be to allow me to install maps for use out of the country (where I don’t want to rack up a huge bill downloading from Google), and in areas of the country with little or no cell coverage.

  5. Section 3.3.7 is there for one reason, to allow Apple to monopolize the routing software market on the iPhone…Although most likely they will partner with a big name, so perhaps it is Tom Tom who is the official partner?

    Personally, I’m not a big fan of Tom Tom, but any voice-guidance turn-by-turn navigation system for the iPhone would reduce my device count by one.

  6. I’m not really that surprised, I have TomTom Navigator running on my (work provided) HTC handheld at the moment, and it runs pretty well. What I have is at least the second generation for mobiles, so I can only imagine the iPhone version would be a little smoother and more polished…

  7. I was under the impression that google maps data as licensed (from navteq, among others) can’t be used by google for live gps enabled navigation (Garmin’s Navteq license precludes that)… I can’t seem to find an up to date reference for this though so I could be way off base.

  8. I agree with w3woody.
    If I do decide to upgrade to the new ‘bhudda’ phone, I don’t want to have to rely on wifi or 3g to download maps. That’s the whole idea of gps isn’t it? To recieve navigational info practically anywhere on the planet.
    The lost tribe in the amazon will be greatly disappointed if I can’t show them how to get from the river back to the huts in real time ,when I show of my phone!!!
    What it is with apple? Its like they are snatching the candy from the babie’s mouth all the time.
    People don’t buy pc’s because of they same kind of microsoft bully boy tactics.
    Free it up Steve, let the people decide what they want!! And we are willing to pay $¥€ for the privilege!!

    Otherwise, I say let the Linux boys design a phone, I’ll be first in the cue !!

  9. “…let the Linux boys design a phone, I’ll be first in the cue !!”

    You won’t be the first in the cue – but feel free to grab an OpenMoko Free Runner. Like they always say with Linux: it isn’t all the way there yet, but it is free.

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