TomTom and HTC are teaming up in a bid to offer quicker and more accurate maps and directions for HTC mobile phone customers.
The two companies announced today that HTC Locations, the smartphone maker's new mapping and navigation service, will come preloaded with TomTom's "location-rich" maps. The service will initially appear on the Android-based HTC Desire and HTC Desire Z smartphones in Europe and Asia before rolling out to future smartphones models.
Since TomTom's maps will come preloaded, the companies are promising quick access to maps and locations.
"I am very pleased to be providing HTC customers with TomTom's accurate location and navigation content on their phones wherever they are," Maarten van Gool, managing director of TomTom licensing, said in a statement. "The beauty of it is that the maps are preloaded and instantly available at users' fingertips. For the first time, this makes the power of TomTom navigation content available 'in-pocket' for HTC smartphone users."
Though the TomTom maps and locations will be freely and automatically available on the phones, users who want turn-by-turn directions will still need to buy and download them through HTC Locations or HTC Sync, which lets subscribers sync data between their phones and PCs. TomTom's maps and HTC Locations will also compete with the free Google Maps, which already has a home on many Android phones and other mobile devices.
TomTom could use a boost. The company has been hit by shrinking margins and a tighter GPS market as more people start to pick up directions through their mobile phones.
The Amsterdam-based GPS maker today reported third-quarter results showing that its net profit sunk to 19.3 million euros ($26.6 million), on revenue of 375 million euros, from 30.5 million euros in the year-ago quarter, when revenue was 365 million euros. TomTom attributed the downturn partly to the weakness in the dollar against the euro. Though it's continually done well in Europe, TomTom has struggled in the U.S. where it's faced tough competition from market leader Garmin.