Best Buy [BBY] revealed the first generation of its in-house GPS units this week, which will be sold under the “Insignia” brand and will feature a surprising feature-set that might be a game changer for Garmin [GRMN] and other competitors.
The Insignia units will not only come with all the usual GPS bells and whistles, but also an integrated cellular modem that will allow two-way communication. To-the-minute traffic updates and Google [GOOG] Local Searches will be just two of the functions enabled by the wireless access, and while Garmin already does traffic updates, users have to tolerate on-screen ads to see them, and there is, of course, no Google involved. The cellular model service will be free for the first year of the device’s usage, and there’s no word on pricing after that.
The two Insignia models, the NS-CNV20 and the NS-CNV10, will both feature the cellular connectivity as well as 4.3-inch and 3.5-inch screens, respectively. The larger model will also feature Bluetooth, and retail for $500; the 3.5-inch model will retail for $400. Both will be available in Best Buy stores starting October 19th.