Offline mobile mapping service SygicSygic has dropped the Rs 1,399 fee of its Sygic India: GPS Navigation Android app. Following this, Android users in India will be able to download the app and maps for free. Note that Sygic’s iPhone app, which also uses data from MapmyIndia, is still priced at Rs 1,399 ($27.99).

Sygic’s maps are powered by MapmyIndia, an Indian location based mapping service. The company claims that it provides navigation in 115 countries with integrated data from travel and mapping companies such as TomTom and TripAdvisor. Some of the features included in the Sygic navigation app are turn by turn voice guided GPS navigation, 3D cities and languages, voice guidance in more than 40 languages, multi stop routes and drag & drop route editing, speed limit display and audio warning, road incident sharing with other drivers, SOS/help to find assistance, spoken street names in American and British English, Interative maps, POI, pedestrian navigation and stopwatch for outdoor activities.

An article by TechCrunch hints that poor sales in India resulted in this price drop. Sygic CEO Michael Stencl told the publication they reported daily sales of only around $250, which is about a sixth of its US app sales. Credit card penetration is India is extremely low making it difficult for developers to monetize their apps. Note that Google Play Store only allows users to make a payment through credit card. We wonder why Google hasn’t rolled out carrier billing on the Play Store, since it has already tied up with RCOM and Uninor.

Besides this, users also use Google Maps on their device for their mapping needs, which are quite good and a default mapping service on their device.The only reason it fails is because of offline navigation features, which apps like Sygic can capitalize on.

Sygic’s navigation competes with mapping services such as Google Maps, Nokia owned maps and location service company NAVTEQ, TomTom, among others. Tom Tom’s Android navigation app for India is priced at Rs 2,050. Google offers it’s navigation app for free and had recently acquired an Israeli location based service startup Waze for an undisclosed amount, adding real time traffic information to its app.

In September 2012, Virbisol, an IT consulting company, had launched Traffic Genie, an app on Android and iOS platform that updates real time traffic information in Bangalore. Nokia Navigation also recently extended real time traffic updates on web based maps to mobile maps and navigation app, Nokia Drive, on its Symbian and Windows Phone smartphones. Apart from that MapMyIndia also provides real time traffic updates in select few places.