Corporate Eye

What Will Google Think of Next? GPS for Smartphones

It’s TomTom and Garmin’s turn to be worried.  Google has rolled out its free navigation service using Google maps available through Motorola’s Droid smartphone (and coming soon to more phones).

It appears Google has done it again.  What do GPS companies have to worry about?  Let’s take a look:

  • Google’s navigation tool is free: Instead of paying for a GPS or a mapping service subscription through cell phone providers, consumers can benefit from Google’s usual model — free.
  • Google provides one-stop-shopping: Yes, this navigation tool is just one more way that Google is on track to rule the world by providing access to every kind of information you could possibly need at your fingertips at anytime and on one device.
  • Google is a brand people know and trust: Like it or not, people know the Google brand and trust it.  That ready-made brand recognition and trust is likely to go a long way in terms of shifting consumers from stand-alone GPS devices and subscription services.

Put it this way — if Google’s new navigation tool for smartphones works well and keeps its free price tag (and becomes available on more smartphones than Motorola’s Droid), there will be little need for anything else.  In other words, the same things that happened with online search, online email, and so on, will happen to GPS.

The question becomes not whether or not Google will be successful in its new venture into GPS, but will any other company be able to challenge Google in that new venture?

According to the New York Times, even the progressive Apple is behind in this area.  Can anyone ever compete with Google?  What do you think?

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Susan Gunelius is the author of 10 marketing, social media, branding, copywriting, and technology books, and she is President & CEO of KeySplash Creative, Inc., a marketing communications company. She also owns Women on Business, an award-wining blog for business women. She is a featured columnist for and, and her marketing-related articles have appeared on websites such as,,, and more. She has over 20 years of experience in the marketing field having spent the first decade of her career directing marketing programs for some of the largest companies in the world, including divisions of AT&T and HSBC. Today, her clients include large and small companies around the world and household brands like Citigroup, Cox Communications, Intuit, and more. Susan is frequently interviewed about marketing and branding by television, radio, print, and online media organizations, and she speaks about these topics at events around the world. You can connect with her on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, or Google+.