Why are TomTom and Alk CoPilot turning their back on $5 million

Are Tomtom and Alk Copilot planning to leave the money to carrier navigation solutions?

While Marketplace has hit a very worthy 10,000 apps, most of the complaints we saw were around the lack of apps in 2 specific categories – business and GPS navigation.  While we do not agree with the claim that Windows Phone 7 lacks business apps (it comes with Office and Sharepoint built-in to start) the GPS Navigation category clearly lacks the big names.

We have previously pinged the major companies, and none would admit to be working on software for the mobile OS. This rather puzzles us, as clearly leaving a significant sum of money on the table.

Even at a low estimate of 1.5 million handsets out there, if only 10% were willing to spend $30 on a brand-name GPS navigation app, that is still $4,500,000, which would more than cover the development costs of a quick port.

Of course the companies may be concerned that Microsoft is planning to roll out a more full-features Bing Maps client, but I think it is clear they will have at least the next 6 months to play alone in the Windows Phone 7 pen.

So why would the big GPS companies leave money on the table like this? I think this is a question the shareholders should be asking also.

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