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?