updated 10:35 am EDT, Fri June 13, 2008
TomTom on iPhone software
TomTom has in fact produced real-time navigation software for the iPhone, according to one of the company's French representatives. Yann Lafargue denies allegations from other sources, which first said that Apple's SDK license forbids real-time navigation, and then that TomTom itself had no internal prototypes. "Since the SDK became available," Lafargue observes, "some of our engineers tried to put Navigator on the iPhone. And the first tests showed that it worked well for the most part."
Regarding the SDK, Lafargue believes that Apple does not have the intention of blocking third-party companies from competing in iPhone navigation. The company "must simply try to protect itself," he says, "in the case a client encounters a problem with his iPhone and a navigation application [and] has the intention of attacking them."
It is still said to be unknown, however, whether TomTom will actually be able to sell its software for the iPhone. "On this point, it's still too early to suggest this," Lafargue comments. "What's sure is that we have a solution for which experiments proved conclusive. Now it's a matter of seeing in which manner we can launch it. We couldn't for example finalize a product only to be blocked from the App Store because Apple decided to make its own program, or to favor one from its partners.
"In general, Apple has to date worked mostly with Americans rather than Europeans, which inspires caution," he says.