Further evidence the PND industry is in serious trouble: Blackberry maker Research In Motion has acquired Dash Navigation for an undisclosed sum.
Remember Dash? I was a big fan of Dash Navigation and its connected portable navigation device, the Dash Express. I felt the company had vision and attempted to create hardware that would be competitive with connected mobile phones and navigation applications. Heck, the company even open sourced the Dash Express and supported third party applications. Unfortunately the company was ahead of its time and couldn’t sell enough Dash Express GPS units to sustain itself. GPS dash Navigation blackberry.
Last November, Dash Navigation announced that it would stop producing hardware and instead focus on software licensing, a move that would leave the company with enough cash to maintain itself through the end of 2009 without additional funding. That won’t be a worry now.
It’s interesting the RIM purchased Dash because it confirms the company believes that native navigational capabilities are a must for Blackberry smartphones. Previously the company has always relied on third parties such as Google for navigation, or more recently through application developers creating GPS apps for its Blackberry App World.
RIM hasn’t publicly commented on the quiet acquisition so I don’t know anything regarding the purchase price or future plans for Blackberry navigation, but I’ll keep you updated as I find out more.