The European Commission, supposedly under pressure from PND makers, is considering imposing a 14 percent import tax on mobile phones that feature GPS or TV tuners. Ultimately this could raise the price of owning a GPS-equipped mobile phone up to 25 percent in Europe.
From The Industry Standard:
“Some mobile phones have many functions these days – personal digital assistant, mobile telephony, a camera, GPS, radio, television. It would be more appropriate to refer to these as ‘apparatus with multiple functions, including mobile telephony’ as they are more than just ‘mobile phones’,” said the European Commission.
The European Information and Communications Technology Association is opposed to the tax, and no surprise here–members include Apple, Sony Ericsson, Motorola, and LG Electronics. None of the major GPS manufacturers including Europe-based TomTom are members of the association.
If the tax was imposed I’m not sure exactly how the money would be distributed–if it goes through at all. I could see something like this being a long, drawn out process. The details are sketchy at the moment so I’ve fired off an email to the association, though I’m not counting on a response!