HTC Locations, pre-loaded with TomTom maps, will be made available on the new Android smart phones soon, and is expected to be included in future HTC smart phones. All the maps will be locally stored, which HTC and TomTom claim should result in a "zero-wait navigation experience". It will also enable you to browse maps without a data connection.
"The beauty of it is that maps are preloaded and instantly available at users' fingertips. For the first time, this makes the power of TomTom navigation content available 'in-pocket' for HTC smart-phone users," said TomTom big cheese Maarten Van Gool.
HTC Locations will probably be better integrated with the Sense user interface than Google Maps, and it may also provide more content and points of interest. But HTC and TomTom will probably have a major job on their hands in persuading people to use Locations instead of Google Maps, which is established, works perfectly well and is frequently upgraded. HTC and TomTom's cause won't be helped by the fact that Google Maps Navigation offers free turn-by-turn navigation, while Locations users will have to buy that functionality as an add-on.
If Locations doesn't take off, TomTom can always just focus on its own sat-nav devices, which are becoming ever more snazzy by the day, and its iPhone app, which has done pretty well, in the absence of really good, free alternatives.