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GPS on Cell Phones


The amount of services offering GPS navigation services on cell phones seems to be increasing every day. This seems to address a recent survey by Ipsos Insight that revealed 86% of 171 surveyed mobile users considered having GPS technology on mobile phones “very important” or “nice to have”. Email. text messages, and camera features were still ahead of GPS features.

“The emergence of GPS as a benefit of next- generation mobile devices has been largely overlooked as marketers have been focusing on entertainment-based services. Looking at the previous success of functional capabilities like email and Internet access on mobile devices, GPS is an obvious choice.” – Todd Board, Senior Vice President of the Ipsos Insight Technology & Communications practice

I believe that cell phones and mobile phones will always be a second class citizen when it comes to GPS navigation. The small screen size will never lend itself to be a top GPS navigator. However with some GPS software capable of running on mobile phones costing as little as a one time $39 purchase, it can be drastically more economical than spending over a thousand for all of the bells and whistles on the most expensive GPS navigation systems.

3 Responses

  1. From what I understand cell phone GPS is tower based.
    With the new smart phones on the market when will smart phones have satellite based GPS so you can atleast use your mobile computer as a GPS where you cant get a cell phone signal. Damn, that would be slick to be able to use google maps downloads or USGS geo pdfs in a handheld smart phone by either tower based or satellite GPS.

    alex - January 22nd, 2011
    • Lots has changed since that was written five years ago. See our article on Assisted GPS, A-GPS for more current information. The new phones do use the GPS satellites, and don’t require a cellular connection (although it helps). And you can download Google maps and USGS maps on them.

      Tim - January 22nd, 2011
      • Thank you Tim- guess i got started off on the wrong foot by not knowing the right buzz word. In general, the sales reps at the cell phone stores are not very knowledgeable on this type of stuff and point me to the payed GPS service option which ive recently found out is included into some of the newer smart phones. Im old school still stuck in the stone age, still dont have a cell phone mostly because im in a rural area where cell phone coverage is lacking, and am a firm believer in knowing where you are, knowing how to read a map and compass and the sun. A GPS to me is more of another tool to help me get my location if I cant figure out where I am by reading a map. I have been lost before..
        Since I found out the technology is pretty much there its time to break down and get a cell phone. Got the PN-40 awhile back and it has some cool features but the screen size is abit small for map reading so im still a paper map person and am only really interested in coordinates. This is going to prove to be interesting when I get it and start using it, ill keep you posted. (no need to reply to the thread)

        alex - January 23rd, 2011

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