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Consumer Electronics Brands entering GPS Market
Until recently the handheld and auto GPS market has been the exclusive province of specialty brands, primarily Garmin, Thales Navigation (Magellan), Lowrance, Trimble, and, more recently, TomTom. The growing strength of independent component suppliers such as SiRF (GPS chips) and Navteq and Teleatlas (digital maps) has however allowed more mainstream consumer electronics brands to bring strong products to the market.

Pioneer have their which is a small automobile oriented tablet in the style of the Garmin and TomTom .

Acer have recently unveiled a small handheld called the e310 which Gizmodo as only being 4" tall. Imagine something the size of a Garmin Geko but with a large color screen, an MP3 player and an SD expansion slot! No news on whether this is coming to the US.

Sony also is joining the mini-tablet automobile market with the . was not impressed with it however. Sony also have released the rather unique . This unit rides along with you for the day while you're taking digital pictures, then at the end the day bundled software compares your GPS track with the timestamps to geotag them for use on service such as . Itís a neat concept, but something you can do quite easily with any GPS using software such as or .

Look also for a resurgence of Thales Navigation, now known as Magellan Navigation Inc. after its from Thales by private equity firm Shah Capital.

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Mountain Dynamics Inc. is not affiliated with some of the ski resorts mentioned herein.
SnowRanger and SnowRanger Uplink are trademarks of Mountain Dynamics Inc.
Garmin is a registered trademark of Garmin Ltd.
Magellan is a registered trademark of Magellan Navigation, Inc.
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