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We have written several times about how the digital navigation market appears finally to be taking off, which has certainly helped shares of Garmin (NASDAQ:GRMN) over the last couple of years (see chart below). We have also noted the increasing competition from major consumer electronics companies such as Pioneer and Sony (NYSE:SNE). A Yahoo! Finance article caught our eye today that shows how far the competition is going.

GRMN 1

“Speech recognition is at the beginning of a tidal wave in cars,” said Karen Rubin, director of product planning and marketing for navigation, Pioneer Electronics [USA] Inc. “Drivers can now enter destinations, search for points of interest, and access their music on the built-in hard drive using their voices.”

All of this is clearly good for consumers, who will have more choices than ever when considering a new digital navigation system. Whether Garmin will be able to maintain its stock performance against new competition is an open question.

GRMN 1-yr chart:

GRMN 1-yr chart

Source: GPS Innovation's Good For Consumers, But Can Garmin Keep Up? (GRMN)