Garmin Ltd. (NASDAQ: GRMN) took it on the chin in recent weeks after Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) launched its personal navigation system as an app on its new smartphones for free. Despite the company’s guidance and earnings, this stock slid and slid from $38.00 to under $28.00 before its recent stabilization around $31.00. It turns out that the threat may still be a long-term one, but it does not appear to be one today if online shopping data is worth anything.
PriceGrabber.com is one of the most popular price-comparison search tools used by many online shoppers to instantly get price data on certain products. It also has its ‘most popular’ section. After looking through this and elsewhere for personal shopping duties, it was hard to not notice how prominent Garmin was in popular terms. This service does not measure sell-through rates, but it does show that GPS device, particularly Garmin, are high on people’s shopping lists this year going into the holiday season.
The Garmin nuvi 255W GPS device (from $129.99) was the number #11 feature in the top 200 products. And on page 2 are both the Garmin nuvi 765T GPS (from $218.47) and the Garmin nuvi 265WT GPS (from $162.05). That translates to 3 Garmin products in the top 50 searches, and that is in the top 200 overall rather than just the top 200 in electronics.
At Amazon.com the Google smartphone is nowhere to be found on the “car electronics & GPS”page, although of course that is heavily dominated by Garmin.
Is that enough to say that Google is not going to be a threat to Garmin? If this included sell-though data maybe. But this might lessen some of the concerns for the time being that Garmin is going to go away.
JON C. OGG