Let me open by saying I think my Nuvi 350 is one of my favorite devices. While there are a few improvements I could point out, for the most part it works very intuitively and reliably. With the exception of the one time I was trying to find a Dairy Queen (Blizzard? hells yes.) and I ended up outside of someone’s house while hearing “you have arrived.” And the guy didn’t even have ice cream. Fail.
Today I received the following email from Garmin:
Garmin is pleased to announce the new Map Update 2009 for North America. For the most up-to-date maps and navigation on your portable Garmin GPS unit, this is the software you want. This $69.99 update offers full coverage for the U.S, Canada and Puerto Rico – making it easy and convenient to update the detailed maps and latest points of interest into your compatible Garmin unit.
The update includes:
- Over 8 million miles of road coverage
- Updated, fully routable, detailed maps for the U.S., Canada and Puerto Rico
- Nearly 6 million points of interest
- Postal code support for Canada
Purchase the Map Update 2009 today!
Now I’m sure Garmin is paying someone (Navteq?) for their maps & data, and have costs to recoup. I have no problem with paying for an update, if the price is right. And maybe back 10 years ago $70 was a fair price, but today it isn’t. The Internet has effectively trashed the value of data to consumers, and price points need to reflect that changed mentality.
As I write this, the Nuvi 350 is $203 on Amazon, meaning new updates are over 1/3 the price of the hardware. Whereas going to Google Maps is free, always. Granted, my Nuvi is more convenient than printing maps, and I am willing to pay something. How about $9.99? Or maybe $19.99? Those seem like a “fair” price to pay for a map update.
There’s simply no way in the current market to accept $69.99 as a fair market value for a map update. Especially in context of a certain new phone that’s going to cause even more issues for a slowly failing GPS market.