According to a new research report by Berg Insight, global shipments of GPS-enabled GSM/WCDMA handsets increased 92% in 2009 to 150 million units. Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 38.7%, shipments are forecasted to reach 770 million units in 2014.
Adoption of GPS technology started in the smartphone segment where it is now essentially a standard feature on all new models. Berg Insight anticipates high attach rates of GPS also in new low-cost smartphones about to enter the market. In addition, GPS will become more common in mid-range featurephone models during 2010. Starting next year, users can also expect gradual improvements in location performance in handsets.
“Chipset developers and handset vendors are already working on next-generation location technologies that will address the limitations of GPS when using handsets in urban canyons and indoors,” said André Malm, senior analyst, Berg Insight. “Multi-mode receivers that also support the Russian GLONASS satellite system will appear in handsets in 2011. By combining the two systems, more visible satellites will increase the chance to receive sufficiently strong signals to get a fix in more locations”.
He added that receivers compatible with GPS, GLONASS and later also Galileo will not be enough to enable reliable positioning indoors. In the next decade, further performance increases will come from developments in hybrid location technologies. These fuse signal measurements from multiple satellite systems, cellular networks and WiFi, together with data from various forms of sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and altimeters.