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Garmin takes aim at TomTom with new app

Rivalry between GPS navigation device makers Garmin and TomTom is likely to heat up again after Garmin announced a new iPhone app and 5" model ahead of the products' debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

The brand's StreetPilot app is its first venture into navigation apps and will compete directly with TomTom's Navigation apps, which are available for countries around the world.

StreetPilot buyers can look up addresses and get voice-prompted, turn by turn directions, as well as using some of the features on Garmin's standalone units such as traffic alerts, lane assist with junction view to help with complex junctions and speed limit indicators for roads.

Garmin may be late to the game compared to TomTom, which launched its app in 2009, but it could pick up customers with its price point - at $39.99 for the US and Canadian version, it's $10 cheaper than the TomTom US and Canada app's current price on the Apple App Store.

Also set to be on display at the show is the company's new nüvi 2400 series, which will officially launch in the first quarter of 2011.

The devices feature five-inch displays, predictive routing, the ability to synchronize favourite places with a myGarmin account and voice-controlled navigation for the high-end models.

They are among the first of a wave of new navigational products expected to be launched at the CES Location Based Services TechZone when the show opens January 6.