Almost 100pc growth in GPS-enabled handsets

19 Apr 2011

The number of handsets shipped in 2010 enabled with GPS functionality grew 97pc to 295m units, according to Berg Insight.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate of 28.8pc, shipments are forecast to reach 940m units in 2015.

Berg Insight forecasts shipments of WLAN-enabled handsets to reach 900m in 2015.

“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,” said André Malm, senior analyst, Berg Insight.

“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,” Malm said.

He added that further performance increases will come from hybrid location technologies that fuse signal measurements from multiple satellite systems, cellular networks and WLAN, together with data from various forms of sensors, such as accelerometers, gyroscopes and altimeters.

NFC-enabled handsets

Starting in the second half of 2011, more handsets supporting the near field communication (NFC) standard for short-range wireless point-to-point communication will also become available.

When deployed in mobile phones, NFC can be used for countless applications, such as information exchange, electronic ticketing and mobile payments.

Shipments of NFC-enabled handsets are forecast to increase from less than 2m units in 2010 to 400m units in 2015.

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years