And TomTom make is so damn hard to follow when new maps come out by not listing the release date..
Several times I've been thinking about updating my maps, but since I can't tell how long the "current" maps have been out (8.40 at present) I have no idea if there will be new ones in a month or two, or even if the road updates are likely to be on the "current" maps.
I agree the Australian Maps are expensive to update and when you update they do not appear to be accurate with new freeways and they tell you to take the next turning and get off the freeway, this is a major bug bear of mine, for you purchase updates thinking they are actually reflecting the current road system. The cost of maps appears to take a simular form as ink cartridges to printers, the price to purchase a GPS has dropped over the past few years to what I would call a resonable purchase price and then within a short period of time there is a map upgrade for near half the price of the GPS purchase price. The question to ask is it worth purchasing an expensive GPS and have the high cost of updating maps, or simply purchase a GPS that you simply through away after 12 months and purchase another with a updated map. I am unsure as time goes on and other manufactures start to sell cheap GPS's many will give consideration to the purchase for 12 months and then just simply purchase another with the updated map. Anyway the battery life of the GPS's is not that good and realy after 12 or so months it is probally time to simply purchase another unit. Food for thought!!!!
Can someone please tell me why the Australian maps seem to be so much more expensive than those for other countries. Particularly countries that have a lot more roads to a population density!
I have a Garmin 760 and got it in early 2008. Early this year I bought the 4 times a year map update offered by Garmin in the official site and did so before heading out to do a car relocation to Perth and from there another to Darwin(a 14 day trip) and found the 2010 map updated a few days before I left to go to be good with most remote roads off the main highways seen by me also seen on the GPS. Anything of a more remote road nature (outback) you will have to go to specialist maps. Know they are available as friends of mine are always biking into the centre and I mean outback track centre of Oz. Also one of my friends locally works for Country Energy and has the need of good mapping especially at night through storms to get around on alternative roads due to impassable roads.
I have been loyal to the Tom Tom product way back to the Tom Tom V1 with SD card, actualy I still use that GPS and preper it the the Tom Tom V3s I have. I have purchase mapping update 12 monthly subcriptions for the Tom Toms and recently received a remind to a further 12 months update with a bonus to make it up to 18 months, but when you stop and look at the current offering and the cost against some other well known GPS brands it is making me consider to purchase a differnet brand that is cheaper and offers up to three years for map updates. I have posted sometime ago my thoughts of the cost of updates and it is like purchasing a printer that cost is acceptable but then go and purchase the consubles to keep the printer going, very simular situation with the GPS devices to keep them going with updated mapping is very costly against purchasing the actual GPS. Not happy Jan!!!
The fact is that because Australia puts massive import duties on goods Australians expect to pay more for all things. So the cost of everything is relatively high in Australia.
Ultimately this is compensated for in the higher average wages in Australia than many other countries.
There is also likely inefficiencies due to the large expanse of the continent and the low poulation as others have suggested.
Would love to know what percentage the massive import duty is on the map updates, as they can / are purchased directly from Garmin in USA.
Incidently, the maps used are produced by Sensis Australia and sold to Garmin for use in Australian mapping.