What are your thoughts about Lifetime maps and traffic on some new models starting April 2010?
Why not, some other have had it for a long time. May be everyone will learn from this and all GPSr's will have free maps. Of course it digs into profits, so some may tack it on the retail price.
Tom Tom is featured today.
Tom Tom 4.3” Portable GPS with Text to Speech, Live Traffic and Weather
$129.99 + $5 shipping
Sounds like a great idea!
Reducing the costs of the maps would probably be a better solution. If you lowered the cost then folks could justify the cost of the map and TT could get some revenue.
My first thought is "Are they really giving something to make the purchase more attractive, or are they just increasing the price to cover lifetime maps?". With Google providing really free map updates for Android users, it is reasonable that a company building GPS units may have to respond with free map updates, but I would want to know if I'm really getting free updates or just being told that I have to buy the updates with the GPS.
Obviously there is some range in GPS prices, but if Garmin started do this with more than just one or two models I could pretty easily determine if the prices reflected a true savings or if they indicated a effort to get users to buy the lifetime updates at the time of purchase. If it was limited to high end units with other unique features it might be harder to make this determination, but if that were the case I likely would consider the deal suspect. I have less experience with TomTom, but I would want to hear a fair evaluation of the "deal", including comparison prices, not just blind praise for what a great deal it was.
As to traffic, lots of factors need to be considered. Is it commercial supported traffic? If so that should certainly be "free" after the original receiver purchase. What areas does it cover, and how good is it? Free traffic in three or four major cities might be a good deal for those in the cities covered, but of no value for many users. The MSN shutdown should teach us all something about this, don't buy a GPS for free lifetime traffic unless you expect a very short lifetime or have other reason to expect it to be supported long term.
I wonder if things like Google Maps are starting to get them scared about charging so much for upgrades. It could be the old business model does not apply any more since maps are free on smart phones. I don't see how they can manage to do this, unless they either charged way too much in days gone by, or they've put the screws to Tele Atlas regarding prices.
I guess we will find out about the free maps and traffic when the new units start selling in 2 weeks.
I just received the XL 335s with the lifetime traffic and map updates free Amazon (known as the XL 335TM). On Amazon it cost about $30 more than the regular XL 335s. The units can be ordered with lifetime traffic, lifetime maps or both. They are known as the XL 335T, XL 335M and XL 335 TM respectively. Based on MSRP, lifetime maps or traffic costs $30 extra and both cost $60 extra. I think thats a great deal. The traffic receiver is built in the power cord on the XL 335 T or TM but a MSRP $100 option on the regular XL 335s and only includes one year of traffic. Single map updates cost $80 and a one year map subscription is $40.
By the way the TomTom replaced my Magellan Maestro 4350. Assuming Magellan ever comes out with a map udate it would likely cost me $80 and the traffic remewal for another year is $40. So for another $50, I got a new GPS with lifetime quarterly map updates and traffic. I did give up bluetooth, FM transmitter and a media player, but I found the bluetooth to be worse than a headset and I never used the other features anyway.
So far I'm very happy with the TomTom although it is taking some time to learn the menus.
apparently the people that bought the lifetime maps and traffic couldn't register the new units since the tomtom website was broken. All is fixed now. Let us know how the new maps and traffic work?
After I received the unit, I downloaded and installed the lastest version of TomTom Home. I then backed up the unit. That took over an hour. I then attempted to enter the activation/promotion code and received an error message. I tried to update and received the same error message. Customer service expressed concern about Norton's Internet Security and that I was using Windows 7 Home Premium 64 bit. They would not officially suggest I turn off Norton's, but they suggested I use a computer with a 32 bit operating system. Turns out turning off Norton's for the activation did the trick. No need to turn off Norton's since then. I then updated my device. It downloaded various updates and new maps. That took almost an hour.
Today my wife and I took a trip from New Castle, DE to Strasburg, PA using our TomTom. The unit almost immediately connected to the traffic service. However, no traffic incidents occured along our route. TomTom displays traffic information on the main screen. For example it tells you if the receiver is searching for a station, it has up to date information or it is waiting for up to date information. If there are any traffic incidents along the route (according to the manual) it displays the type of incident, the length of the delay, and the miles to the incident. (I havn't seen that yet.) All this without touching the screen. On the Magellan, it was not clear that traffic was even working without going into the menus.
So far so good.
You did not mention what type of backup you did. If you have not made a backup with Windows Explorer, I strongly recommend that you do so. Make sure to select the ability to see hidden files. That will make it easier to reconstruct your unit if you get a corrupt update.
The backup was done using the backup function in TomTom Home.
Garmin you need to follow!
It is widely suggested that you make an explorer backup instead of TT Home. TT Home has been known not to completely backup the data. TT Home will also not keep multiple history copies of your backup.
Maybe TomTom should give away the receivers and sell the services, maps, traffic, etc. to everyone. If priced right, it could be a good deal for everyone!
If TomTom comes out with free lifetime maps, I will have to seriously entertain the idea of going with a new TomTom unit to replace my Garmin.
They do sell units with maps included, and the price can be as little as $20 more than the non-map version. For instance the XL 340 comes in a map version, a traffic version, both version, neither version. And the price is reasonable. Here's the map version:
It seems pretty steep to charge so much for a map update - more than 1/2 the price of many of Garmin's GPSs.
Has this gone into effect?
I'm thinking about switching from Garmin to TomTom. TOMTOM has a unit with free lifetime maps and traffic for $149.00
Currently you have to buy the new units that have both free lifetime maps and traffic. They cost as little as $149.99
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