Smartphones Send Navigation Device Sales in the Wrong Direction

Sales of personal navigation devices will start to decline next year because of competition from smartphones -- such as iPhones, Androids and BlackBerrys -- that come with built-in GPS features, research firm Berg Insight predicts.

The number of GPS devices sold over the next five years will fall about 35% in Europe and more than 20% in North America, according to a report released this month (via InformationWeek). Already, about a quarter of the 200 million regular users of turn-by-turn navigation access that navigation through their cell phones, Berg says.

To keep sales up, navigation-device makers will need to focus on higher-end devices with larger screens and real-time traffic, according to report.