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CES: TomTom makes map updates free for some newer models [Updated]

January 7, 2010 |  7:07 am

What's the best way to compete with free? Start offering some perks for free.

GPS manufacturer TomTom, faced with pressure from Google Maps, plans to give away features it previously charged for. Updated map and traffic data can soon be downloaded for free for select devices starting in the second quarter of this year.

Newer GPS units qualify for the free-update model, including the small, consumer-entry TomTom Ease, which was announced Wednesday at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

[Updated, 3:50 p.m.: The soon-to-be-released EASE, a 3.5-inch LCD touch-screen device, may join a series of newer devices that receive "free updates for life," but then again, the EASE "may not necessarily be included," said TomTom spokesman Kevin Carter.

In addition to maps, traffic data will also be free.]

-- Mark Milian