Dash exits the personal navigation device market

In an announcement yesterday, Dash Navigation said it is strategically reducing the size of its workforce as it shutters its dedicated device division and shifts into the position of a software and services company.

Dash made a connected personal navigation device (PND) as a sort of "next gen" for the extremely popular devices, including live traffic reports and support for location-based information through Yahoo's Fire Eagle middleware.

However, last year's explosive growth of the PND market dropped precipitously, according to NPD analysis in July. The market's growth rate slipped 60% in both units and dollars, from 313% growth to 136%. So it's still a growth market, but as Europe's top personal GPS maker TomTom showed, sales of the devices had hit a wall as GPS-enabled phones increased in availability.

In response to this market trend, Dash says, "Since navigation is now a key feature for many devices, Dash can expand its consumer reach by delivering the Dash Service through multiple platforms, eliminating the enormous capital expense that is required to develop and market hardware on its own."

Dash says it will reduce its headcount by 65%. Having never been taken public, the company has never reported its exact employee count, though estimates based on public profiles indicate the reduction could range from between 50 and 65 employees.

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