Although there might be a slight blip in mid-year sales of GPS-enabled handsets will outperform sales in the mainstream mobile phone market in 2009. Globally mobile handset sales are expected to fall by 4 to 5 per cent this year but according to ABI Research, sales of GPS-enabled phones will reach 240 million units, an increase of 6.4 per cent on 2008. This unexpected success story will be driven by the demand for smartphones, such as the Apple 3G iPhone, which will increase at an average annual shipment rate of 14 per cent through 2014. Over this period GPS chipsets will continue to penetrate the smartphone sector with nine out of ten such devices being GPS-enabled by 2014 compared to one in three in 2008.
Other factors that will continue to push the inclusion of GPS in handsets include the increased deployment of open source operating systems such as Google's Android which provide application specific interfaces (APIs) that allow developers to create location-based content for mobile devices, and the ongoing introduction of more navigation and map-based applications.
For more on this story:
- go to Mobile Europe
Forecast: 550M GPS handsets to ship in 2012
Forecast: 82M location-based mobile social networkers by 2013