The Chinese provider of digital maps and location-based solutions said it will buy the 80 pc of PDAger it doesn't already own for 8.3 million US dlrs.
PDAger was one of the first companies to offer mobile navigation in China. It has cooperated with Chinese smartphone makers to pre-install "NaviTo," a personal navigation application, across various popular handsets.
Since last year, PDAger has been a partner of China Telecom to develop and operate "E Navi," a 3G mobile navigation application of "E Surfing," a 3G services brand offered by China Telecom. E Navi provides smart phone users with mapping, local search, routing, turn-by-turn voice-guided navigation, GPS services, real-time traffic information and access to in-depth points of interest across China.
AutoNavi hopes the PDAger acquisition will strengthen its position in the fast-growing Chinese market. "By fully integrating PDAger into our Location-based Solutions business, we will capitalize on PDAger's mobile navigation solutions and relationship with China Telecom," said AutoNavi CEO Congwu Cheng.
China Telecom is one of the fastest growing telecom carriers in China. In 2010, it had more than 12 million 3G mobile subscribers, more than double the number of subscribers it had in 2009. China Telecom's subscribers equal 13.6 pc of the total Chinese mobile market, which is expected to grow sharply in coming years.
"By leveraging PDAger's high-quality products and partnering capabilities, AutoNavi will have a new gateway to a growing user base that is bolstered by China Telecom's strong growth and the expansion of 3G mobile internet usage in China," Cheng said in a press release.
Separately, AutoNavi announced Monday that its 3-D Navigation and MiniMap applications have been pre-installed on Motorola's first tablet PC, the MOTO XOOM. The product was officially launched in China on March 31, 2011