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Philips cans plan for GPS devices

Satnav market is too competitive

Philips Electronics has backtracked on its previously stated plan to enter the satellite navigation market. In June the company spread the word about a new line of portable products that it planned for September. After the announcement, shares in TomTom International, the market leader in navigation devices, sunk 3 percent within the hour.

But yesterday, Philips said it was no longer interested in selling the devices. Spokeswoman Nanda Huizinga said the company kept a close eye on the market in the past few months and decided it was too crowded.

“It’s a very competitive market and it puts a lot of pressure on profit margins," she said. "We decided we need some focus, and navigation devices like these don’t fit within this focus.”

The company remains interested in GPS (global positioning system) in general, but not for stand-alone products. “We don’t want to go further with GPS as a single device, but it’s an interesting technology to implement in other products,” Huizinga said.

Mobile phones or digital music players are possible candidates for GPS capabilities, she said.

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