As of recently, GPS receivers have started become ever so popular on mobile phones. There are several reasons for this trend. The Nokia N95 was released in 2007, and it was the first mainstream device with the feature onboard. After it, the feature started gaining popularity at an almost constant rate and today the feature is almost mandatory on mid-range or high-end smartphones. Even some extremely budget smartphones, such as the Nokia 5230, have been bestowed with this feature which has increased the popularity of the service even more.
Cost of dedicated GPS devices
Dedicated GPS devices are quite expensive when you view them as standalone products. They have basically only one function, to get you to the destination of your choice as quickly as possible. Although several of these devices to have the abilities to act as media players and can be attached to the car’s entertainment system, they have little use besides that.
Although mobile phones may be more expensive than dedicated GPS products, they are much more functional. You can use them for several purposes such as making calls and browsing the internet. Along with that a smartphone may also be much more portable than a GPS device.
Portability and connectivity
Another major reason why GPS in smartphones caught on was because it helped put a navigation tool right into your pocket. Along with that you needed to carry only a single device instead of two, which was a worthy convenience for several people. Along with that if a person is lost while on the street, he can just pull out his phone and get the directions within a couple of minutes. People who use their GPS mostly in this scenario are the casual users.
GPS equipped smartphones also have an advantage over most dedicated GPS devices in the sense that they can go online and get the latest data. This data may be in the form of the latest maps and newest POI’s. Along with that the smartphone can also access the internet to find out the latest traffic updates and newer events. Although some dedicated GPS devices support these features, they are very costly and need a data connection.
Appeal to casual users
Casual users have benefited extremely from the inclusion of GPS in smartphones. These people would not have bought dedicated GPS devices if the feature was not present in the phones they had. Doing a quick route calculation with the GPS while on the road is one major selling point of GPS-equipped mobile phones for several people. Although dedicated
GPS devices have several advantages over their smartphone counterparts, such as better reception and longer battery life, they may not attract casual users. Power users may always opt for dedicated devices, but several people would also prefer their phones to have the function.