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GPS in 3G iPhone coming through Broadcom?

updated 01:40 pm EDT, Fri May 30, 2008

Broadcom GPS in 3G iPhone?

A GPS receiver will indeed be in the 3G iPhone, and the technology will be supplied by Broadcom, according to anonymous sources. Contacts cited by GigaOM say that Broadcom has secured a contract with Apple, beating out older, more established competitors such as SiRF, whose SiRFstar III receivers are used in a vast number of navigation devices. Broadcom normally provides chips for cellular communication, and only acquired GPS resources with the buy-out of Global Locate in June of last year.

Evidence has been mounting that the 3G iPhone, expected to be announced at WWDC on June 9th, will have some form of dedicated GPS functionality. Changes in the iPhone 2.0 firmware contain references to GPS, and point to the possibility of geotagging, which would have little use on a current iPhone. It is capable of rudimentary location-finding through Google Maps, but this is imprecise and based on router information or celltower triangulation.

By Electronista Staff
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  1. smokeonit

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Feb 2005



    if the current iphone is at a location that has been scanned by skyhook wireless, they supply the WPS data, then the geolocation data is not imprecise!

    i doubt that the 3G iphone will have a GPS, and if it really gets one then it will be optional to turn on, since always on GPS depletes the battery pretty fast...

    most big metro areas in the US and europe have been scanned or are in the process of being scanned by skyhook wireless

    check their website:

  1. Elektrix

    Dedicated MacNNer

    Joined: Sep 2001


    re: imprecise?

    smokeonit, those are still some pretty big "ifs" though. Any way you slice it, built-in dedicated GPS will be more accurate than the Skyhook solution.

    And of course GPS will be optional to turn on and off, as it is in most every other phone that has it.

    What is the reason you doubt it will be built-in though? Are you actually arguing that the current skyhook-based solution is all it needs, and that there's no need to have actual GPS?

  1. Guest

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Nov 1999


    GPS for 2G iPhones

    Apple needs to release Bluetooth so that 2G iPhones can use an external GPS receiver (as well as a multitude of other Bluetooth uses).

  1. russellb

    Junior Member

    Joined: Sep 2001


    Iphone Not just USA

    You have to remember the Iphone V2 is no longer a USA centric device , it will be a world wide device so local only solutions like skyhook are meaningless to a global product. So GPS is in fact very importnant

  1. imagine engine

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Aug 2007


    GPS and iPhone v2.0

    Unless Google starts offering true GPS navigation not virtual GPS I'm presuming for Canadian iPhone customers Rogers will continue to go through TeleNav which offers Global GPS coverage. Currently they offer the $10.00 MSF as an optional add on to current plans that are using devices that support GPS navigation such as the Blackberry 8110/8310/8800, Motorola Q9H, etc. Reference:

  1. ZinkDifferent

    Fresh-Faced Recruit

    Joined: Jan 2005


    skyhook IS int'l

    russelb - I was recently on the island of Koh Chang in Thailand, and skyhook pinpointed my location pretty exactly - and that's about as far off the beaten path as you'd be.

    Now, if we're talking in the middle of the jungles of Borneo, that's a different story.

    Nevertheless, I do believe that iPhone v2 will have a GPS receiver built-in, much to the chagrin of the stand-alone GPS industry, that must be sweating bullets right about now.

    Think about it - why spend $500 on a GPS, when you can have an iPhoneGPS, with auto-updating maps and operating system for the same price...?

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