I have not been quite about the fact that I have been a huge lover of the Dash Express GPS Unit for some time. I have often called it my all-time favorite device and a revolutionary GPS product. It seems my dreams that it will one day be as mainstream as the TomTom GPS units or the Garmin Nuvi units have been shattered. Earlier today, Dash announced that it would be stopping the production of its hardware and has fired two-thirds of its employees.
While I admit that I think the Dash Express was missing some wanted features such as bluetooth, I really liked the unit itself. It is simple, elegant, and can withstand extreme conditions (sitting in direct sunlight in the middle of summer). Of course my favorite feature was the constant Internet connection. I loved being able to search for stuff on the fly or get information that I needed sigh as flight or traffic delays. While there are very few services that I am willing to pay for, this was by far the most worthy of my money. Sadly these days are coming to an end.
While Dash has announced that they will continue to support the device, with a major update coming out before the end of the year and the next one already in the works, they haven’t said just how long they intend to keep the backend servers running. Personally, I hope they keep them running for a long time to come since I recently purchased a two year subscription to their service. Apparently Dash hopes to focus on their software.
Dash has stated that they are now going to focus their efforts on their software and trying to get it on the GPS devices from other manufactures as well as cellphone manufactures. While I do think it would be great for some phones to have Dash technology, I think that it is going to be extremely difficult to sell the software to their major competitors such as TomTom or Garmin just because they already have good, established products that are dominating the market, something that Dash could never have accomplished because they were only sold online on sites such as Amazon. They certainly have some great software, but I dont think there is anything great enough to make the other major GPS manufactures jump at the idea of buying or licensing the software. The GPS market is too competitive for something like this.
Given the fact that I don’t think that Dash can make it as a GPS software company unless it can successfully make deals with cellphone manufactures, I would say they won’t be around much longer. While their death my not take place overnight, I do think it is not that far off. When you fire 2/3 of your employees and completely change your business strategy, you are in an extremely desperate position and pretty much just clinging to life. I do hope they they stay around long enough for me to enjoy my 2 year subscription, either that or they refund my money.
I really hate to see Dash go, they had a great product with an amazing service. Like many products, I think it was the lack of availability and price point which ultimately caused their downfall.