Shipments of GPS-enabled GSM and WCDMA handsets up almost 200%

According to a new research report by Berg Insight, global shipments of GPS-enabled GSM and WCDMA handsets jumped 178.6% in 2008 to 78.0 million units.

Growing at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46.5%, shipments are forecasted to reach 770 million units in 2014. Adoption of GPS technology has started in the smartphone segment where it is now a standard feature on all new models introduced by tier one vendors.

Berg Insight anticipates that GPS will start to appear on mid-range handset models in late 2009 and evolve into a standard feature in this segment as well in the following years.

The report highlights several drivers behind the rapid adoption of GPS in mobile handsets. André Malm, Senior Analyst, Berg Insight, commented: “The mobile industry has a strategic interest in creating a platform for location based services, which is perceived as an area with many new untapped business opportunities.”

He added that GPS is a welcome sales argument for the handset manufacturers in their efforts to keep up replacement sales. In some countries, the feature is even required for compliance with regulatory demands for high accuracy positioning of emergency calls made from mobile phones.