Technology moves at such a fast pace, itís a wonder that any one company can stay afloat in todayís market. GPS devices are currently some of the most popular gadgets, and developers of these helpful tools are not strangers to the world of cutthroat competition. This article takes a look at one of the casualties of this competition -- Magellan -- and what it means for the rest of us.
As some companies, such as Garmin , become bigger and stronger than ever, others fall between the cracks. Such is the case withMagellan Navigation , the California-based company responsible for products such as theMagellan RoadMate , theMaestro and theCrossover andTriton series of GPS devices. The company quietly entered into a definitive agreement to sell its consumer products division to Taiwan-basedMiTAC, who announced international revenue of $4.681 billion for the month of November 2008.
The transaction, which was finalized during the first month of 2009, went ahead with little fanfare. Thepress releasementions no details of the transaction. MiTAC is the parent company of Mio, another GPS device developer, and their acquisition may come as a surprise to some.
Although it is a bit player here, Magellan still has a decent retail presence in the United States and comes in third behind Garmin and TomTom. Since its previous acquisition, the company has been slow to come out with new products and hasn't been able to keep up with the big two in terms of features, innovation or support.Magellan has also struggled in the past few years with buggy product releases and a lack of innovation in the consumer GPS sector, though their brand is more widely known than Mio in North America.
MiTACís Mio brand has struggled to build brand recognition in the United States, which may have been a major factor in their decision to buy the more recognizable U.S.-based Magellan.Just how the two companies will integrate remains to be seen, but it's not inconceivable that MiTAC will use the Magellan brand exclusively in the US while maintaining a two- or possibly three-pronged approach in other markets. Letís take a look at the GPS market and find out just how much consumers will be affected by MiTACís major purchase.
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