This Day On The Street
Continue to site right-arrow
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here
Stocks Under $10 with 50-100% upside potential - 14 days FREE!

5 Stubbornly Standalone Tech Toys

Stocks in this article: AAPL GOG SNE AMZN MSFT T VZ S RIMM

Navigation and GPS devices
Garmin's (GRMN) been shifting navigation features and maps over to smartphone apps, spreading out its services to personal training equipment and fish finders and sneaking in other offerings such as apps that monitor a car's horsepower and fuel efficiency. TomTom's chief executive, Harold Goddijn, recently told CNBC that his company isn't diversifying fast enough into subscription services, side deals with automakers or its own spread of apps.

If these companies are looking at a world without their standalone navigation devices, why do U.S. consumers still buy them? Part of it is that 60% of the U.S. still doesn't have a smartphone and needs a standalone device for navigation and GPS. The rest who still buy GPS devices are a bit fickle, frugal and just a touch lazy.

"You can always leave it in your car," Entner says of the devices. "You're changing your phone more often than the GPS device, and I now have three or four attachment for different phones so I can use the phone as a GPS device, which is a major annoyance when each of them is $30 to $40."

Other countries don't face this question because they don't have such high-class problems. In a white paper Entner wrote for Mobile Future, he notes that the 21-month handset cycle in the U.S. is the fastest in the world. The average European waits between three to four years before changing phones, while consumers in developing countries can wait as many as eight to 10.

"For GPS, we're looking at a global market, and that's what's kept GPS devices in demand," Entner says. "For the U.S. the phone is almost a disposable fashion item and for people in India it's a status symbol like a car -- people in the U.S. change cars more often than people in other countries change phones."

Of course, the U.S. wouldn't be able to cycle to the Next Big Phone so quickly if its carriers weren't picking up a big part of the tab. While carrier contracts in the U.S. can eat up more than 60% of an iPhone's upfront costs, buyers elsewhere often have to part with the full price. Some Americans may just keep a cheap GPS around to avoid leaving their $200-plus investment in the car or to spare themselves from having to switch formats, but buyers in other countries already know a cheap feature phone and an entry-level Garmin can be a lot more cost effective than an all-inclusive smartphone -- especially at full price.

"How many people would buy the iPhone if it was $600?" Entner says. "We know the answer to that, because the first iPhone was $400 and not a lot of people bought them."

3 of 6

Select the service that is right for you!

Action Alerts PLUS
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer and Stephanie Link actively manage a real portfolio and reveal their money management tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
  • Weekly roundups
TheStreet Quant Ratings
Try it NOW
Only $49.95/yr

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
  • Upgrade/downgrade alerts
Stocks Under $10
Try it NOW

David Peltier, uncovers low dollar stocks with extraordinary upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
  • Weekly roundups
Dividend Stock Advisor
Try it NOW

Jim Cramer's protege, David Peltier, identifies the best of breed dividend stocks that will pay a reliable AND significant income stream.

Product Features:
  • Diversified model portfolio of dividend stocks
  • Alerts when market news affect the portfolio
  • Bi-weekly updates with exact steps to take - BUY, HOLD, SELL
Real Money Pro
Try it NOW

All of Real Money, plus 15 more of Wall Street's sharpest minds delivering actionable trading ideas, a comprehensive look at the market, and fundamental and technical analysis.

Product Features:
  • Real Money + Doug Kass Plus 15 more Wall Street Pros
  • Intraday commentary & news
  • Ultra-actionable trading ideas
Options Profits
Try it NOW

Our options trading pros provide daily market commentary and over 100 monthly option trading ideas and strategies to help you become a well-seasoned trader.

Product Features:
  • 100+ monthly options trading ideas
  • Actionable options commentary & news
  • Real-time trading community
  • Options TV
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!


DOW 18,053.71 +23.50 0.13%
S&P 500 2,088.77 +6.89 0.33%
NASDAQ 4,806.8590 +33.3870 0.70%

Brokerage Partners

Rates from

  • Mortgage
  • Credit Cards
  • Auto

Free Newsletters from TheStreet

My Subscriptions:

After the Bell

Before the Bell

Booyah! Newsletter

Midday Bell

TheStreet Top 10 Stories

Winners & Losers

Register for Newsletters
Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs