Smailo, the first local brand of car navigation systems, hit the market on April 16. The device is available for 700 or 800 lei (the equivalent of some 195 – 225 euro), depending on whether the map coverage is that of Eastern Europe or of entire Europe, informs daily Evenimentul zilei.
Smailo features an 11 cm touchscreen, the most wallet-friendly device with a monitor of that size, incorporates iGO navigation maps and is sold in the Arobs distribution network.
The device is the result of the joint efforts of Arobs and consultancy and design company Branzas Design, using the Business Advisory Services program managed by the European Bank for Development and financed by the Austrian government.
According to company representatives, the initial investment for the launch of the product intended for middle-class motorists was some 200,000 euro.
The local market of GPS systems might hit this year about 80,000 sold units, twice the figure registered in 2007, when estimated sales were of about 40,000 GPS navigation systems worth a total of ten million euro, reveal data presented by the distributor’s representatives.
The cited sources said the local market of GPS systems has skyrocketed since the launch, in 2006, of the first GPS navigation solution for Romania, iGO. Improving maps for Romania might significantly expand the local market of GPS equipment.
In Romania, Mio provides the best selling GPS car navigation systems, that are actually PDAs with incorporated GPS, reports daily Ziarul Financiar.