Taiwan's Mitac to buy Magellan's consumer GPS group

Taiwan's Mitac signed a deal to acquire the consumer products division of Magellan for an undisclosed sum.

Looking to beef up its GPS product line, Mitac International has agreed to buy the consumer products division of GPS maker Magellan Navigation for an undisclosed sum.

Taiwan-based Mitac sells GPS-equipped smartphones and navigation units through its Mio Technology subsidiary. Magellan's consumer products group sells the Triton series of handheld GPS device and the Maestro and RoadMate car navigation units.

The acquisition will give Mitac a boost in market share and brand recognition in key markets, like the U.S.

Mitac plans to keep the Magellan brand name for some GPS devices, with the Mio brand used for other products, said Justine Liu, a Mitac spokeswoman in Taipei. More details about Mitac's plans for the new unit will be disclosed after the deal is closed next month, she said.

Magellan is the third-largest provider of consumer GPS units in the U.S., with 11 percent of the market -- representing shipments of 412,000 units -- during the second quarter of 2008, according to the most recent figures available from research firm Canalys. The top two providers, Garmin and TomTom account for 72 percent of all GPS units sold in the U.S. By comparison, Mio held 4.5 percent of the U.S. market -- or 166,500 units shipped -- during the same period.

Magellan has seen its share of the market slide as its shipments grew at a slower pace. During the second quarter of 2007, Magellan shipped 393,500 GPS units, representing 21 percent of the market.

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