GPS ready handsets driving EU mobile growth

The GPS-enabled handset device sector is the fast growing market segment in Europe, according to a study from Frost & Sullivan.

More than 30 million devices were shipped in 2008 and close to 80 million devices are expected to be shipped by 2010. In Russia in 2008, the market for navigation-enabled mobile devices grew to over 300 000 units, representing a share of more than 60% of the overall navigation market in Russia.

Nokia has emerged as the number one choice for mobile navigation over rival handset vendors, according to the research conducted amongst European and Russian consumers.

According to the study, 62% of the non-owners of a navigation system in Europe and 77% in Russia consider Nokia as the leading brand for delivering mobile navigation.

Additionally, over 72% of the current users of a navigation system in Europe and 81% in Russia vote Nokia as the best brand for delivering mobile navigation.

Nokia's acquisition of NAVTEQ last year has enabled it to aggressively venture into the mobile navigation space with a strong product portfolio. Frost & Sullivan said that the recent launch of Ovi Maps for mobile and web was accelerating Nokia’s market presence into the service space within the mobile navigation market.

“Nokia has clearly excelled in identifying growth opportunities in a maturing mobile handset market by integrating GPS in a large number of its handsets, making them navigation-ready,” said N. Praveen Chandrasekar, Program Manager, Telematics and Infotainment at Frost & Sullivan.