Garmin, Ltd.
Garmin vs. TomTom

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By DutchMark
November 28, 2006

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A while ago I asked how Garmin compared to TomTom. I had the impression TomTom's products were considered to be the best. Answers from this board seemed to disagree and claimed Garmin has the top products.

I don't know much about these products, I have never used any. But I do see the potential for them. This weekend there was a nice interview with Harold Goddijn, founder of TomTom, in a Dutch newspaper. Apparently TomTom is market-leader in Europe with 50% market-share. Garmin comes second with 10%. Total market is 8 million units this year. Here I saw posts with Amazon rankings of navigators, where Garmin reigns supreme. That's an odd regional division that doesn't seem to be of this time anymore. How come the European market and the US market are so different? How big is the US market in units?

I must say that I now feel I have to take claims that Garmin's products are superior with a grain of salt. One doesn't get 50% market-share with a vastly inferior product. Is the difference in the data and the software? Does TomTom have better mapping for Europe whereas Garmin has better mapping for the US?

Is there anyone who has owned both? Or who has used both? I'm now very curious what the reason is of this division.

I'm a bit handicapped by not being a user myself. My aunt has a pretty awesome kit in her car that is connected through satellite that supplies it with up-to-date traffic information. It re-routes when roads ahead are getting too busy and it estimated a complicated trip correctly to the minute. But I have no idea of the brand she owns.

How about Asia? I've seen cabs in Japan with some pretty good stuff too, back in 2000. Is that a completely separate market again? (At least the Chinese characters may form a bit of an obstacle.)

Any opinions appreciated.


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