This trend is mainly due to the U.S. government’s mandate for Emergency 911 (E911) capability as well as wireless operators’ initiatives to offer Location-Based Services (LBSs), according to iSuppli Corp.
“Besides cameras, multimedia capabilities and connectivity solutions, mobile-handset OEMs increasingly are investigating the integration of GPS functionality in mobile devices as a value-added product differentiator,” said Tina Teng, analyst, wireless communications at iSuppli. “Wireless carriers are looking at introducing various new GPS-based, revenue-generating services to increase Average Revenue Per User (ARPU).”
Interestingly iSuppli do not see Nokia as one of the force shaping the trend for GPS-enabled handsets. This denotes the U.S. centric approach of this report. Looking at Europe it is hard to believe wireless operators are driving this market. The huge cost of data roaming is hampering the development of off-board navigation and operators are definitely most interested in mobile TV than in location-based services; despite research showing their customers are thinking the other way around.