In this section of GPS monitoring we will discuss about Garmin GPS product sales and Garmin GPS Edge 705. Garmin Ltd. was founded in 1989 and is headquartered in a small Kansas city named Olathe, makes and sells navigation, communication and information devices that engage Global Positioning System (GPS) technology.
GPS uses a constellation of 24 satellites that the U.S. Department of Defence maintains to:
Locate a user’s position
Display that position on an electronic map
Provide computerized guidance to other location
Garmin generated US$3.18 billion in revenues during 2017 in part due to the introduction of 60 new products. North American sales were up 89%, while sales in Asia and Europe rose 66% and 63% respectively.
The company had 8,500 employees at the end of 2017, almost twice as many during the prior year.
Global Positioning System (GPS) Products
Garmin organizes its GPS products into four segments.
Aviation (panel-mounted and portable systems for either the cockpit or air traffic control)
Automotive and Mobile (navigation equipment in automobiles, motorcycles, laptops, smartphones and other handheld devices)
Marine (electronic boat chartplotters, sonar units, fishfinders and autopilot systems)
Outdoor and fitness (outdoor navigation and tracking devices for hikers, climbers, snowmobilers, soldiers and pet dog monitors as well as automated fitness training equipment).
Innovative products planned for this year include adding speech recognition capabilities to personal navigation devices. For example, users can say the words “Find Italian restaurant” into their unit, then speak their choice and the PND will lead right to that restaurant’s door. Also planned are bicycle computers with full color display and bike-specific features.
Garmin First Quarter 2018 Sales by Region
For the first 3 months of 2018, overall company revenues were up 34.9% to US$663.8 million. Listed below is the performance of Garmin’s 3 geographic segments during first quarter 2018.
North America … US$411,432 (62% of company revenues, up 27.5% from same quarter 2007)
Europe, Africa and Middle East … $210,587 (31.7%, up 42.2%)
Asia … $41,786 (6.3%, up 94.7%).
Garmin GPS Product Sales in Asia
While Asian operations had the highest percentage sales gain, distribution of Garmin technologies there are relatively small relative to overall company revenues.
The relatively small scale of Asian sales is at first surprising when one notes that 38.3% of Garmin operational assets are in Asia, notably Taiwan. Manufactured GPS products are shipped from Taiwan to clients in Europe, North America and Asia. Given the fast-rising price of oil and gas, distributing made-in-Taiwan Garmin products in Asia would seem more cost-effective.
However, company management has a history of establishing distribution channels in a given region and then buying the exclusive rights to those distributors. Last year, Garmin acquired and now owns GPS product distributors in key European countries namely Germany, France, Italy and Spain.
Garmin has yet to win a foothold among the leading distributors that could import a much higher volume of its products into Asia.
Garmin First Quarter 2018 Sales by Business Segment
Automotive and mobile revenues generate a significantly larger portion of company revenues. That percentage has expanded from 64.4% in the first quarter of 2017 to 68.1% in the first quarter of 2018.
Automotive and Mobile … US $451,859 (68.1%, up 42.7%)
Aviation … $85,445 (12.9%, up 18.7%)
Outdoor/Fitness … $70,495 (10.6% of company revenues, up 16.5% from same quarter 2007)
Marine … $56,006 (8.4%, up 30.2%).
In the first quarter of 2018, Garmin increased total unit sales by 80% to 2.79 million over the same period in 2017. Strong sales of automotive products provided the driving force for much of this percentage gain.
GPS Navigation Nüvi Devices
One of Garmin’s most popular products is its nüvi®, a sleek and slim portable device that easily goes from vehicle mode to pedestrian mode for exploration after the car is parked. The popularity of GPS navigation continues to grow as consumers embrace the technology that takes the guesswork out of driving, while offering new outdoor navigation opportunities around the world. To suit a wide range of lifestyles, Garmin launched 14 new nüvi models last year.
Garmin GPS Review, Edge 705
Garmin has become the leader in Global Positioning System (GPS) devices since producing the first model about 30 years ago. The product range has expanded considerably in recent years and now includes GPS models specific to fitness training including cycling.
Whilst previous cycling specific models focused more on route mapping and distance measurement, Garmin’s top of the range Edge 705 model offers a complete training package on top of its advanced navigation capabilities.
Garmin GPS Edge 705 What’s in the Box?
The Edge 705 comes complete with a wireless heart rate monitor, two bicycle mounts, a USB cable and an AC charger. It also offers package upgrades to include a speed/cadence sensor perfect for road cycling enthusiasts.
It measures speed, heart rate, cadence, distance and time travelled, calories, altitude, ascent and descent. The Edge has a color display and gives turn by turn directions for easy navigation plus, by using third party ANT+ Sport enabled technology, allows tracking of a cyclist’s pedal power.
Ease of Use of the Garmin Edge GPS
Switch on the unit and it immediately picks up satellites even under trees thanks to the high-sensitivity receiver, a huge plus versus older models that notoriously lose their signal near tall buildings and in forest areas.
The display is easy to read and, once familiar with the unit’s menu-driven format, data is quick to assimilate. Users can choose a variety of information to display on screen using side buttons and start/stop is simple via the central joystick.
Post ride, it is simple to create gradient profiles and upload data onto the web to analyze training performance. A wireless “transfer data” button allows easy sharing of routes and other data with riding buddies who also have the Garmin Edge GPS.
Navigating with the Edge Garmin GPS
The Edge will guide the rider to an exact destination, beeping at junctions and lighting up the screen with instructions on the next turn. The big downside, however, is that you have to purchase the right street map for your area as the base map supplied with the unit is too basic and practically useless.
With the correct Garmin local street map installed, however, the unit works well in suburban streets although users must choose the “Bicycle” option for longer journeys or the GPS will find the fastest route via the nearest motorway!
Downsides of the Edge 705
The rechargeable battery life of 15 hours is considerably reduced if the user forgets to switch the unit off. The Edge should have an automatic “hibernate” mode.
The manual provided with the unit is poor and does not easily explain the vast number of features on offer.
As already mentioned, the basemap is inadequate. User should be offered a low cost upgrade to purchase the correct map with the unit.
The Ultimate Cycle Computer?
Whilst the Garmin Edge 705 is far from cheap (the recommended retail price is $499.99), the wealth of features, high sensitivity receiver and accompanying heart rate monitor make the package hard to beat as an all round cycling computer and GPS in one complete unit.
If Garmin was to include a high quality base map as standard, the Edge would probably be the perfect cycling gift.