TomTom, navigation products provider, recently announced that it will offer free maps and traffic tiles on its mobile SDK. The free option is available for both iOS and Android. While this news was noteworthy enough to warrant TomTom announcing it on stage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF, only the first 2,500 transactions are free of charge.
“Every day, more exciting opportunities in areas like mobility and ridesharing emerge, in which digital maps play a crucial role,” Aders Truelsen, TomTom Enterprise Managing Director, told the TechCrunch Disrupt crowd. “Given TomTom’s history in guiding people to where they need to go, it is only fitting for us to offer free Mobile Maps SDKs to help guide developers on the road to success.”
While freemium, tiered pricing for APIs and SDKs is nothing new, it is especially noteworthy for mapping technology companies. Google recently announced a restructuring of its Google Maps toolkit, which eliminated the ability to integrate with Google Maps without a credit card in hand. While the first $200 of Google Maps transactions continue to be free, the developer community was not excited about the business changes.
TomTom will not require a credit card to get started on its SDK or any of its APIs. Even at the free levels, TomTom does not include advertising. TomTom did not introduce any new features to is SDK or API suite; instead, it focused on broader support for the developer community through its free tier. While TomTom did not mention the Google move onstage or in its press release, it’s hard to imagine Google’s new pricing scheme didn’t have something to do with TomTom’s decision.