Global shipments of GPS-enabled GSM/WCDMA handsets increased almost 97% in 2010 to 295 million units, according to a new report from Berg Insight. Shipments of GPS-equipped phones are expected to reach 940 million units in 2015, a compound annual growth rate of 28.8%.
The number of WiFi-equipped devices is also increasing. Last year, 20% of handsets had WLAN connectivity - and this figure is expected to keep growing, with shipments of 900 million WLAN-enabled mobile phones anticipated in 2015.
André Malm, Senior Analyst at Berg Insight, said “There are numerous compelling use cases for WLAN in mobile phones, ranging from offloading data traffic from increasingly congested mobile networks to media synchronisation and hybrid navigation services. Hybrid navigation technologies are necessary to enable reliable positioning indoors. New multi-mode GPS receivers that also support the Russian GLONASS satellite system are already available in handsets. When using the two systems in combination, more visible satellites will increase the chance to receive sufficiently strong signals to get a fix in urban canyons”.
In addition to the increase in GPS and WiFi technology, shipments of NFC-enabled handsets are forecasted to increase from less than two million units in 2010 to 400 million units in 2015.