Dash Navigation has pulled the plug on the Dash Express, ceding the hardware market to others. Instead, they will focus on licensing all that real time traffic data and the great deal of knowledge they've gained developing their network.
While this is bound to sting for existing Dash Express owners (and how much continued support Dash will offer is unknown at this time), the move definitely makes business sense. Who knows, maybe Dash will end up supplying the 3G iPhone's navigation app.
Dave Zatz got right to the point in a blog post today...
We’ve made the difficult, yet exciting, decision to shift gears to focus our company on extending the Dash experience to a variety of devices and platforms. Rather than continue to ship our own hardware, we’ll be licensing our application and service to a diverse group of device manufacturers.
This path offers us great opportunities as navigation and location-based services have exploded across the industry landscape. Not to mention that by delivering the Dash service through multiple platforms, we’ll be able to accelerate the growth of the Dash Driver Network - benefiting both our existing and future customers.
We thank our current customers for their support and remain committed to continuing delivery of an unprecedented experience.
Here's the full news release...
Dash NavigationTM, Inc. today announced that the company is shifting its focus from delivering connected navigation devices directly to consumers to licensing its application and service to run on platforms such as onboard navigation systems, smartphones, PDAs, mobile internet devices, and other consumer electronics. As part of the strategic move, the company realigned its workforce, eliminating positions non-essential to supporting existing subscribers or driving new licensing partnerships.
Dash introduced the first connected personal navigation device to the marketplace earlier this year and demonstrated the value of next-generation connected navigation – for consumers and other device manufacturers. Since navigation is now a key feature for many devices, Dash can expand its consumer reach by delivering the Dash Service through multiple platforms, eliminating the enormous capital expense that is required to develop and market hardware on its own.
“It’s clear that consumers love the benefits of connected navigation – from up-to-the minute traffic information to live search – as it helps them save time every day,” said Rob Currie, new CEO of Dash Navigation. “Given the current economic environment, we believe that the greatest opportunities lie in integrating our service into the broad array of connected devices on the market.”
Industry analysts predict continued strong growth in location-based services, and heavy consumer interest in connected navigation services. According to ABI Research, real-time, two-way (RTTW) connected navigation is expected to show strong growth in the next five years with a prediction that more than 62% of all navigation devices will feature RTTW connectivity by 2012, with nearly 170 million units shipping worldwide*.
“The opportunity for getting connected applications onto a variety of devices has really exploded,” said Currie. “From a navigation perspective, adding a GPS chip or connectivity is only a small part of the equation. Delivering a connected service that provides daily consumer value and ensuring that the back-end infrastructure is in place to support it, is very complicated. Very few companies have this type of expertise. As a pioneer in this space and the first company to offer a connected navigation device for the car, we are well positioned to help other companies quickly deliver a solution to market while also expanding the Dash Driver Network footprint benefiting both current and future customers.”