updated 04:15 pm EDT, Wed July 29, 2009
GPS Smartphones to top 77m
Smartphones from Apple and others should help the number of GPS-aware smartphones surge this year, according to a Strategy Analytics study. Shipments of the devices should spike a large 34 percent to 77 million phones and are chiefly credited to rapidly growing sales of devices like the iPhone, Nokia N97 or BlackBerry Tour. Many often have stronger mapping tools like BlackBerry Maps, Google Maps and Nokia Maps built-in, encouraging GPS use right away.
The research also notes that many smartphone buyers, particularly in Europe or North America, are now used to dedicated GPS devices such as those from Garmin or TomTom and are much more familiar with navigation than they would have been in the past.
BlackBerry OS, Symbian S60 and Windows Mobile have already had turn-by-turn GPS apps but have rarely had them in an accessible form. iPhone apps from iGo, NAVIGON and TomTom are either released or near release and will make access to driving navigation apps easier by putting them in a central location and allowing purchases of extra maps from within the software.