TomTom expands range of devices in SA

2013-10-04 10:02
The TomTom sport watch is targeted at athletes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

The TomTom sport watch is targeted at athletes. (Duncan Alfreds, News24)

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Cape Town - Navigation provider TomTom has launched a range of new devices in South Africa as the company focuses on emerging growing markets.

The company on Thursday announced a new range of GPS sports watches that are targeted primarily at runners, cyclists and swimmers.

"If you look at the sports category overall, you see that it is a growing business... so we want to make sure that we get a share of that growing market," Daan Hendrickx, Country Manager for TomTom South Africa told News24.

TomTom launched a global partnership with Nike in 2011 to produce the Nike Sports watch, and Hendrickx said that it changed the perception of the technology.

"We thought that all the devices available in the market were quite bulky - there're lots of buttons; the screen isn't big enough. The GPS receiver sticks out a little bit on the left or the right. We thought to re-invent the sports watch."


According to Berg Insight, wearable devices are set to grow quickly as users rush to adopt them.

The organisation says that its research showed that wearable devices, including smart watches and fitness trackers reached sales of 8.3 million devices in 2012.

Sales of the devices are expected to top a growth rate of 50.6% and reach sales of 64 million units by 2017. Sales of the Nike sports watch jumped from 5% to 22% in one year.

"Seeing the experience of working together with Nike, it motivated us to do something on our own," said Hendrickx.

The company divides athletes into three main categories: Novice, challenger; addicted and Hendrickx explained the marketing strategy.

"Together with Nike, we targeted the early challenger: The features we had in the watch were limited; it wasn't for the addicted who wants to know much more," he said.

TomTom wants to augment an untapped market with the devices that are impact resistant. The watches are also waterproof to 50m and have an estimated 10 hour battery life.

Street names

"We don't want to compete directly with Nike; it's also part of our global agreement. Where Nike stops, that's where we start," Hendrickx said.

TomTom Go

TomTom also introduced the Rider and new Go range navigation devices to the South African media.

The Rider targets motorbike riders and features a bigger screen with sensitivity that allows it to be operated with gloves.

Highlighted features of the Go are that it recognises both old and new names for South African roads and the maps are interactive on the device.

Users who buy the Go at the recommended retail price of between R2 599 and R3 999 are guaranteed African maps for lifetime of the device.

TomTom said that the recommended retail price for the sports watch will top out at R3 999 and the Rider device prices will start at R4 699.

- Follow Duncan on Twitter
Read more on:    tomtom  |  technology  |  mobile

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