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TomTom was founded in 1991 with a focus on developing software products for mobile devices. The founders Peter-Frans Pauwels, Pieter Geelen, Harold Goddijn and Corinne Vigreux are all currently still working within TomTom. Our founders had the drive and vision to help grow TomTom from a small start-up to the multinational, blue chip listed company it is now.

In our first decade, TomTom focused on developing a number of business-to-business applications for mobile devices such as bar-code reading, meter reading and order-entry systems, before shifting focus to developing consumer software products for personal digital assistant devices (PDAs). By 1998, we had established ourselves as a market leader in PDA software, creating a number of consumer applications for PDAs, such as our EnRoute (later renamed RoutePlanner) and Citymaps navigation applications.

In 2001, as more accurate GPS satellite readings became available, we recognised that in-car navigation presented a major opportunity for innovation. Our first navigation product for PDAs, the TomTom Navigator, was launched in 2002. This product was sold as an add-on application for third-party PDAs and included a GPS receiver and car-cradle. We promoted and distributed this product across Europe, which allowed consumers to buy a fully functioning navigation system at a much lower price than previously available factory-installed and dealer-fitted systems.

By now we saw a gap in the market for an affordable, easy-to-use car navigation system that integrated all the components of a navigation system in one portable device. In 2003, we made a strategic decision to adapt our core software architecture to operate both on our new hardware products and also across a wide variety of third-party hardware platforms and operating systems. We recruited an experienced hardware team to develop an all-in-one navigation product as the potential for portable navigation devices was clear to us.