Vodafone back in January 2009 thought £20 million ($30 million) to buy Swedish mapmaker Wayfinder was a steal, fast forward to the companies closing this month and it shows just how quickly a tech company can fall prey to newer, better and free technologies.
Much of the companies troubles are believed to have come from Google who recently announced their own free voice guided turn-by-turn directions, along with Nokia Ovi Maps which are also being offered at no cost.
Vodafone’s Anna Cloke told Engadget that the decision to end WayFinder map technology came about becuase:
“We could not charge for something that others gave away for free.”
Wayfinder didn’t have the leverage of a TomTom or Garmin, but given how much their stock prices were devastated by Google’s announcement, either one of those companies could end up the way of Wayfinder, come one or two more new technological advances by Google.
Oh well, I’m sure the retailers making $10 margin off Garmin and TomTom units won’t be too disappointed (BTW…I’m serious about the $10 margin).