For a while, Telenav had a pretty sweet deal going. The company is the developer of the GPS navigation app that iPhone and iPad users have traditionally preferred, and many of those users have discarded their stand-alone navigators in favor of Telenav’s app. The huge popularity of Apple’s devices provided a wave of success for Telenav as well, and the company has done very well for itself—until now.
Apple broke the news that was probably inevitable: It has completed its very own maps application, which is just as high-quality, intuitive, and feature-packed as anything else the company has put out. Besides detailed, easy-to-use GPS navigation, the app includes optional 3-D buildings, incredible satellite images of landscapes and structures, and a Flyover feature that lets you peer down on any spot at any camera angle. Best of all, this tool will be standard and free of charge to iPhone and iPad users. This is very bad news for Telenav, because their navigation service is not free—it costs $10.00 per month for most users.
It’s hard to imagine users choosing to stick with Telenav instead of using the free Apple program, and a sudden drop in stock prices reflected that fact. It remains to be seen whether Telenav can find a new way to reach out to Apple users, but the application that has been the key to its success has clearly run its course.
Apple’s choice to develop its own Maps software in-house doesn’t just affect Telenav, though. Google is the other major company that has worked with Apple on mapping, and its Google Maps was the program included by default on devices. But with competition increasing between Google’s Android and Apple’s own operating system, it is to Apple’s advantage to end its dependence on Google for maps.
More bad news on the horizon for Telenav: Apple is reportedly looking into developing devices specifically designed for auto GPS navigation. If so, these devices would put up some stiff competition against Telenav’s stand-alone GPS products. Not exactly what Telenav is looking for as it works to recover from the loss of one of its most profitable markets: Apple device users who want navigation on their phones and tablets.