Free Bing turn by turn nav increases pressure on PND companies

garminstockDigitimes reports that Microsoft’s May 11th announcement of free turn by turn GPS navigation has increased the pressure on Personal Navigation Device companies like Garmin.

Microsoft’s move is just the latest after Nokia and Google’s, and undercut the beleaguered company’s business model even further.

Microsoft’s announcement saw a further erosion in Garmin’s stock price, with it shares dropping close to 10% from a closing high of $35.60 on the 10th to a low of $32.60 today.

Garmin reported a 15% revenue decline in the first quarter for its mobile and car-use device division, and confirmed that inventory level at its distributors is high. The European PND market shrunk by 16% in the first quarter, TomTom pointed out.

PND sales in 2010 are expected to stay flat, according to industry observers. Garmin has however moved to embrace the coming wave, releasing its own navigation-themed smartphones such as the Windows Mobile Garmin Nuvifone M10 recently.