Need more proof that it’s all about location these days? A new report published by Berg Insight indicates global shipments of GPS-enabled GSM/WCDMA handsets increased 92 percent in 2009 to 150 million units.
Growing at an impressive compound annual growth rate of 38.7 percent, shipments are forecasted to reach 770 million units in 2014. With adoption of GPS technology starting in the smartphone segment, where it’s now essentially a standard feature on all new models, it’s anticipated that GPS will see heavy inclusion in new low-cost smartphones and “feature phones” about to enter the market as well.
Significantly impacting the growth of GPS-enabled devices will be the accuracy improvements coming down the pipes in the very near future. While GPS is accurate outdoors with a clear view of the sky, there continues to be limitations indoors and in areas with geographic limitations.
The report from Berg Insight suggest many improvements to location-accuracy are in the works, including use of a Russian positioning satellite to compliment existing technology, as well as new developments in hybrid positioning technologies that take into account signal measurements from multiple satellite systems, cellular networks and Wi-Fi, together with data from various forms of sensors such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and altimeters.
“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”