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Like Radio, GPS Companies Must Play the Multi-Platform Game

NYT notes challenges spawned by smartphones facing firms like TomTom and Garmin

Will smartphones end up causing standalone GPS devices to go “the way of the tape deck”?

That’s the question raised by the New York Times last week.

“More than 40 percent of all smartphone owners use their mobile devices to get turn-by-turn directions, according to data from Compete, a Web analytics firm,” the newspaper reports. “For iPhone users, the figure is even higher, eclipsing 80 percent.”

Meantime, “sales of traditional GPS units from companies like TomTom, Garmin and Magellan … have fallen sharply recently.” Stock prices for those companies also have fallen.

The story discusses what GPS companies are up to in response to these trends.