TomTom, the GPS unit and digital map giant, is coming to Argentina.
The company will begin selling products at retailers like Garbarino, Fravega, Carrefour, Wal-Mart and Falabela in August.
“Argentina offers a good potential with over 9 million cars on the road every day, and we are confident that we can achieve the same leading position in Argentina that we already have in the rest of the world,” Elias Kabeche, TomTom’s Area Director Latin America, said in a statement. “Offering our fully localized PND (portable navigation device) products in Argentina is a logical next step in our expansion strategy in Latin America.”
TomTom will compete face-to-face with Garmin,which has already been in Argentina for some time. However, the two companies will offer different map technologies.
Garmin’s devices rely on something akin to an open-source system developed by map enthusiasts at Mapear. The system, which already has been through at least eight versions and seems to work well across the country, is not a professionally-developed service, per se.
Mapear’s maps have an advantage in that they result from the contributions of countless enthusiasts and may be more extensive. However, TomTom’s maps in Argentina may prove to be more accurate because they’re developed by the professional mapping company, Tele Atlas, which TomTom bought in 2007. Last year Tele Atlas signed a five-year deal with Google to provide the Internet juggernaut with the rights to use its mapping technologies in around 200 countries.
TomTom recently launched a “turn-by-turn” GPS application for the iPhone in the U.S. The company plans to release a similar App in Argentina at some point in the future, though a definitive time-frame has yet to be set.