My view of the launch of opencaching.com is that Garmin is using the site as a marketing vehicle. Geocaching as a hobby is growing exponentially. Garmin wants a larger share of that market. The companies that I think should be most concerned about OC.com are the other hardware manufacturers. The GPSr manufacturers are drawing up the battle lines. Delorme is already on record as saying they have no plans to support opencaching.com. Justin Doucette of Magellan (MiTAC Digital Corporation) was even more clear on who they supported:
“Magellan does not have any current plans to utilize APIs for Garmin’s opencaching.com. Magellan views Opencaching.com as a direct competitor to Geocaching.com. Magellan has a close and valued relationship with Geocaching.com. We feel as though Geocaching.com is the premier location for geocache listings and a central hub for communication, interaction, and support for the entire geocaching community.”
I wonder if Garmin realized how polarizing their initiative might be? Geocachers loyal to Groundspeak’s geocaching.com may actually choose to support Groundspeak by switching hardware the next time they upgrade. It will be interesting to see what kind of effect this has on hardware sales for all GPSr manufacturers.