Destinator Technologies invests in China

Destinator Technologies today announces plans to strengthen its presence in the Asia Pacific region and particularly in mainland China to meet growing demand for satellite navigation solutions.

Destinator Technologies CEO Brian Barry said: “China represents one of the big opportunities for Destinator and we’re very excited about the progress we have made since entering the market two short years ago”.

China has overtaken Japan as the world’s second largest car market with sales surging 25 per cent in 2006 to 7.2 million vehicles. According to CCID Consulting, a Chinese market research firm, “Starting from 2007, China’s car GPS market will enter a brand new period of growth. Japanese car-makers will continue to lead the pre-installed market, with all high-end Japanese cars and some new car models to be installed with pre-installed navigation GPS. What is worth noting is that local car makers, currently making great strides forward, may well take the lead in the industry in the current round information system upgrading in domestic cars. The rapid rise of the post-installed portable GPS navigation product market now only hinges on one thing, namely services relating to GPS navigation products. These include traffic and road condition information services, parking lot information services and interest spot information services”.

Destinator has been established in China since 2005 and currently employs over 50 people in Beijing and Taipei. The company says that it will increase the number of staff in the region by the end of 2007. Destinator already has a string of contracts with regional personal navigation device manufacturers, including Shinco (PND manufacturer), Motorola and Sony Ericsson China. Strong relationships with local digital mapping suppliers have also been created to provide in-depth coverage of all the major regions in the country.

Recently, the company has developed a new Linux version of its Destinator 6 navigation software to meet growing demand for Linux Smartphones in China. Indeed, according to CCID Consulting, the 2006 Smartphone market was 15 million units (up 50% compared to 2005), with Linux (especially Motorola’s Smartphones built on this platform) accounting for 30% and Symbian (mainly Nokia’s Smartphones) accounting for 63%.

The company is also the first navigation software developer to work on the development of a TMC (traffic message channel) service for the Chinese market, offering drivers information on how to avoid traffic congestion. Destinator will be working with its partners to offer the service to visitors attending 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. TMC has been demonstrated in December 2005 in China through Dynasty, a European /Chinese project, but so far no service has been made available.

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