A third driver is the availability of traffic data to supplement GPS-based location information. In 2006, traffic information infrastructure in several regions matured significantly, most notably the RDS-TMC (Radio Data System — Traffic Message Channel) in Europe, MIC observed. PND and location-based services vendors in turn have aggressively launched value-added services such as instant traffic information, weather information, and points-of-interest, which all contributed to increasing consumers' willingness to use PND products, according to MIC.
According to MIC industry analyst Lusy Ho, Taiwanese makers control the majority of production orders from brand-name PND vendors such as TomTom, Magellan, Medion, Mio, and Navman. Taiwanese PND production accounts for more than 70 percent of worldwide production. In the first half of 2007, Taiwanese PND shipment volume reached approximately 7.28 million units. Inventory issues and seasonality affected shipments in Q1, and shipment volume only reached 3.08 million units, according to MIC. Volumes grew in Q2, however, reaching 4.2 million units, up 36 percent quarter over quarter.
MIC predicts this unit growth will continue this quarter and next, driven by the approach of the peak season in the end market and the emergence of new PND makers. In the second half of the year the market researcher forecasts Taiwan to ship 11.83 million units, with a full-year 2007 total of 19.11 units.
However, MIC acknowledges that as the pure PND market grows and new competitors enter, brand-name PND vendors will actively seek second or third manufacturing partners, bringing increasing competition among contract electronics manufacturers not only in Taiwan, but in China and Korea as well.