Verizon has updated VZ Navigator for both the BlackBerry and the Android Platforms and they are offering a free 30-day trial for new users. The new VZ Navigator VX has been enhanced with 3D city driving and real highway signs and views.
There is a good chance that you’ve heard by now that Garmin is now offering Garmin Mobile for BlackBerry for a one time charge of $99.99 for the entire time you own your BlackBerry instead of the $10 per month fee that they used to charge.
To make a long story short, subscription based GPS service on your mobile phone sucks and Garmin finally figured that out. Most people that really need GPS bad enough to pay a monthly charge for it should go out and buy a dedicated GPS device that, quite, frankly, will be better than a phone with GPS.
Verizon would be smart to take this approach as well. As I’ve said before, I’d be willing to bet that more BlackBerry using Verizon subscribers would be willing to pay a one time fee for GPS than would the number willing to pay a recurring monthly fee.
I know for a fact that there are a lot of Verizon BlackBerry users that are ecstatic right now because their long wait is over as the Verizon BlackBerry Curve is now available. At the same time, however, those very Verizon BlackBerry users are ticked off that Verizon still locks down their branded versions of BlackBerry devices.
There is no question that Verizon is still Verizon. I wonder, however, if Verizon could or would ever appease their customer base by offering an unlocked BlackBerry and not lose revenue by just charging more for it.
Make no mistake, Verizon can tell you that they disable certain features to make devices secure and stable on their network until they are blue in the face. We know, however, that RIM makes BlackBerrys more than secure and stable enough and all Verizon is doing is charging for GPS because, well, they can, and we know that they are all about their bottom line.
Verizon makes a lot of money of VZ Navigator, however, most Verizon BlackBerry users that I know don’t have it. They simply refuse to pay a monthly fee for GPS on a phone when they could easily by a cheap stand alone GPS unit that is way better than a mobile device which acts like a GPS unit for under a hundred bucks. I’d bet a lot of them would have been willing to pay an extra $50 to $100 up front if the built-in GPS wasn’t disabled.
Verizon should think about that.