Sunday, November 04, 2007

GPS on steep ramp in cellphones

"The number of cellphones with global positioning satellite capabilities will more than quadruple between 2006 and 2011. The U.S. government's mandate for Emergency 911 services and the rollout by carriers of new location-based services are driving the growth, according to a report released by iSuppli Corp. on Thursday (Nov.1).
GPS-equipped mobile handset shipments will rise to 444 million units by 2011 from 109.6 million units in 2006, the market watcher forecasted. That means by 2011, 29.6 percent of all mobile phones shipped will have GPS capability, up from 11.1 percent in 2006.

The report was issued the same day Swiss GPS chipset and modules group u-Blox Holding AG raised Swiss Francs 135.6 million ($116.5 million) in an IPO on the Swiss stock exchange. U-Blox (Thalwil, Switzerland) had raised over $17 million in venture funding since 2000, from 3i Group, Partners Group and Innoventure Equity Partners.

"Mobile-handset OEMs increasingly are investigating the integration of GPS functionality in mobile devices as a value-added product differentiator," said Tina Teng, wireless analyst at iSuppli (El Segundo, Calif.), speaking in a prepared statement. "Wireless carriers are looking at introducing various new GPS-based services to increase their Average Revenue Per User," she added.

Location-based services span a broad range of GPS-enabled applications that typically tap into location databases. At a recent cellular conference in San Francisco, GPS chip designer Sirf Technology held a summit intended to fuel what has been to date a slow rise for location services. "

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