Not too long ago, we were getting excited about getting our hands on Navigon's three upcoming GPS devices. However, this morning we receive news that the German manufacturer of portable navigation devices is withdrawing from the North American market. We were so close!
Citing "difficult economic environment and the aggressive pricing," CEO Egon Minar announced this morning that Navigon is downsizing its Chicago office and stepping out of the American market.
What this essentially means is that Navigon just can't compete in the TomTom/Garmin price war that has resulted in sub-$100 devices that American customers just love to gobble up.
Minar stated that Navigon would continue to support current customers with map updates and, presumably, honor warranties; and that the company is not completely shuttering its North American operations.
While Navigon may not be selling branded devices in North America for the time being, there are still opportunities, albeit small, for the company with its embedded navigation software for automobiles and mobile devices, such as smartphones and potentially the Apple iPhone.