Garmin switches to Navteq maps, offers free lifetime map updates

February and March are going to be big months for Garmin in Australia and New Zealand, with the GPS maker switching map providers and offering free lifetime map updates on select new models.

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February and March are going to be big months for Garmin in Australia and New Zealand, with the GPS maker switching map providers and offering free lifetime map updates on select new models.

Map provider change

All new Garmin portable-navigation units arriving in stores from February 2012 will come equipped with Navteq's maps of Australia and New Zealand. One of the reasons cited by Garmin for the change from Sensis' Whereis maps to Navteq is that in many parts of the world, Garmin already uses Navteq maps in its navigation devices.

Owners of a current device who have a paid-up subscription to Garmin's lifetime map-update service need not worry — those devices will still continue to receive the latest Whereis maps whenever the GPS unit is hooked up to a computer.

Free lifetime map updates

Starting later this month, the company will launch seven new GPS models. All seven bear the LM suffix, which indicates that the model comes with complementary map updates for that unit's lifespan.

The first three new models due in late February, the Nuvi 3450LMT, the 3490LMT and the 3590LMT, are successors to the beautifully thin 37xx series. These will be followed by the more affordable Nuvi 2455LM, 2455LMT, 2495LMT and 2595LMT, which are due in stores sometime in March.

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