Harris polled US consumers about GPS

Harris polled US consumers about GPS
According to a new Harris Interactive technology research study released today, one in six (17%) U.S. adults currently own or use a GPS location device or service. 6% use an outdoor handheld GPS, 6% a PND (Portable Navigation Device), 4% a PDA or a laptop with a GPS, 4% an in-dash system and 2% a GPS-enabled cell phone.

“Despite advances in the technology, improvements in usability, dependability and falling prices, overall penetration remains relatively low for GPS services”, said Milton Ellis, Vice President of Technology Research, Harris Interactive. “At the same time, nine percent of adults indicate that they are very or extremely likely to purchase in the next 12 months”.

The survey shows the satisfaction of GPS users is very high: 64% of the consumers are very or extremely satisfied, a very high score for a consumer electronics category. This Harris survey also asked GPS users to rank the most useful features on navigation devices. Route recalculation - when missing a turn - is considered extremely/very useful by 81% of them; real time traffic information by 75%; multiple destination routing by 73%; voice guidance by 71%; Text to speech by 71%; POIs by 63%; proximity alert (POI or speed limits) by 57%; 2D and 3D maps by 57%; Bluetooth interface with cell phone by 45%.

There are a few features that GPS owners may not take advantage of with their GPS system. Just over two-thirds (68%) say that digital picture slideshows are not useful on GPS, and even with the popularity of digital music, a substantial majority (69%) feels that digital music capability on a GPS is not very useful or not at all useful.

Harris polled US consumers about GPS
A GPS cell phone to feel more secure?
Awareness of GPS navigation services on cell phones remains relatively low with about one in five (19%) adults saying they are highly aware (8% extremely aware and 11% very aware) of the service. But this is not a complete surprise because even if a lot of the US wireless operators are now offering off-board navigation for a growing range of cell phones, these services are rather recent, most of them have been launched in the last 12 months.

Approximately one in six (15%) who have a cell phone are interested in getting GPS service on their next cell phone, with half of them citing that having GPS would make them feel more secure knowing where they are at, regardless of city (53%) or avoid them to get lost in an undesirable part of town (29%). This relation between GPS cell phone and security is an interesting topic that comes as a real surprise, but could definitely be used by marketers as a benefit of cell phone navigation. After security, finding alternative routes around traffic congestion is the second major benefit identified by potential buyers (47%).

The price sensitivity of these potential buyers has also been surveyed by Harris. With a price set at $11.99 per month only 4 % are extremely likely/very likely to subscribe; at $8.99 they are 6% and at 5.99$ it grows to 19%. This survey shows wireless operators – who are currently selling this service at $10 per month - might have to reduce their pricing in the future in order to attract a larger segment of their customers.

Finally the survey shows that GPS tracking capabilities are still facing privacy issues. When asked: “Would you like GPS capability that allows others to know where you are?” only 22% answered yes, 33% were not sure and 45% said no.

This Harris study was conducted online in the United States in May and June 2007 among 1,325 adults (aged 18 and over), 1,092 of whom are currently cell phone users and 227 are current GPS owners.

Thursday, August 16th 2007

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