TOMTOM'S announcement of an iPhone navigation app and an in-car kit is proof if it were needed that convergence is alive and well. And everything seems to be converging on the iPhone, the world in your pocket. Manufacturers of gadgets of all descriptions, from pocket calculators to in-car navigators will be examining their marketing plans and asking themselves if people really want a dozen and one different bits of kit, every one with its own charger and accessories, when the iPhone can do everything just as well.
In the past couple of years we've seen convergence come to television and video. More and more people are using computers such as the Mac Mini as a media server and the television is likely to become nothing more than a big monitor. There is a general tendency for fewer devices to do more things and to combine all these different facilities in one easy-to-use interface.
So TomTom's iPhone plans will send a shiver through the boardrooms of rival navigator hardware companies; and we doubt it will do much to improve the sale of TomTom's own hardware. For occasional use, the iPhone makes eminent sense as a navigator.