Amsterdam based navigation service company TomTom, which had recently bought its partner’s stake in its Indian Joint Venture with Kalyani India, has announced a partnership with Taiwanese mobile handset maker, HTC, to provide maps, points of interest and turn-by-turn directions for all HTC smartphones in India. According to Tom Tom, this is the company’s first big partnership in the Indian market. After increasing its stake, it had said that it intended to develop new products such as point of interest maps for landmark navigation for the Indian market.
HTC, which offers smartphones based on Android and Windows Phone, will be able to pre-embed Tom Tom’s navigation app, adding to the handsets’ feature set. However, this is not the first time that the two companies have come together. In 2010, HTC and Tom Tom had partnered to preload maps as part of HTC Locations, integrated with HTC’s Sense UI, and was to be initially available on HTC Desire HD and HTC Desire Z smartphones in Europe and Asia. While Maps and location content was preloaded on HTC Locations, turn-by-turn navigation was to be purchased and downloaded through HTC Locations or HTC Sync.
While handset makers like Nokia, pre-install offline navigation apps on their handsets(Symbian & WP7), Google’s own offline navigation service for Android phones is still unavailable for India. The other major player in this segment, MapmyIndia also has handset tie-ups with companies like Samsung and Motorola, for pre-bundling its navigation app. It also retails the apps for Android, iOS and Symbian.
Earlier, TomTom had announced the launch of its “Via Series” Navigation devices in India pricing them Rs 15,000 onwards and retailing the devices through retailers such as Reliance Digital, Reliance Autozone, Car Nation, and about 70 more independent car accessories stores nationwide, and through online stores such as Flipkart.