GPS and the SmartPhone: A Match Made in Heaven

GPS and the SmartPhone: A Match Made in Heaven

Consumer electronics devices are always evolving, and due to these advancements, the standard today is almost certain to be replaced tomorrow.  Take Apple, for example.  By implementing GPS into its multi-functional iPhone 3G, the company helped revolutionize a new world of location-based solutions using the smartphone as the platform.

In a recent report, electronics specialist firms ABI Research projects that sales of GPS-enabled mobile phones will jump to an estimated 240 million units, a 6.4% increase over the numbers in 2008.  This is a very interesting prediction when considering that the firm expects sales for phones without GPS to decline by 4% to 5%.  As of now, makers of dedicated in-car GPS systems are striving to meet the challenges associated with real-time internet connectivity, internal suites of location-based solutions, and advanced features that have yet to be introduced in smartphones.  Many of them are also delving into the smartphone market with their own software products designed to work with mobile phones.

Though it is definitely leading the charge, Apple isn’t alone in this market.  Rivals such as T-Mobile and its Google-powered Android platform, Blackberry and Palm are all making strides in the GPS-enabled smartphone market.

Blackberry Storm

RIM (Research in Motion) has delivered its answer in the smartphone touchscreen market with the highly anticipated Blackberry Storm.  Similar to its well established rival the iPhone 3G, the Storm features a nice sized 3.25-inch diagonal color screen that automatically switches between horizontal and vertical views.  By having such a large screen, the Blackberry Storm is much better suited for GPS applications than its predecessors, which are more business orientated.

T-Mobile G1

As a major player in the mobile phone sector, it is no surprise to see T-Mobile making its mark in the GPS smartphone market.  T-Mobile is the first company to launch a mobile phone offering the Google Android open operating system.  Known as the T-Mobile G1, this smartphone comes equipped with a built-in GPS receiver, along with location-based features such as the popular Loopt application.

Palm Pre

In the Palm Pre smartphone, GPS will support the new location information and basic directions standard and also provide a direct link to a universal search feature powered by Google Maps and Wikipedia.  The Sprint Navigation service, which is powered by TeleNav’s GPS technology, will also be included on the Palm Pre when it launches.  Sprint Navigation offers turn-by-turn driving directions, on-screen and by voice, a business finder feature with 10 million points of interest, intelligent re-routing, traffic alerts, fuel prices and full color nationwide maps.


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