The number of handsets with strong navigation features is certainly growing, as is the number of apps designed for them. More intelligent phones mean the end of certain portable gadgets, like MP3 players, GPS units and video players. Also, the use of handheld tracking devices such as GPS devices for trucks, cars and fleets are already being replaced. Do the standalone GPS devices stand a chance?



In order to keep up with modern smartphones, GPS products will have to provide more services, like traffic avoidance and a bunch of multimedia features, for extra fun. Garmin, TomTom and others are the ones to stand their ground, but they need to take lessons from camera makers, who are still kicking, even if handsets now sports 12 MP camera sensors.

However, GPS makers must be careful with not stuffing too many features on their devices, specially since checking your social networking service while behind the wheel may prove totally unsafe. Also, we learn via research firm Berg Insight that more than 80% of navi devices will come with wireless support by 2015. This proves useful, if you’re looking for up to date traffic data, gas prices and weather info.

Prices have also gone down, from the $1000 expensive toys to the current $200 or so units used by truckers, car rental companies and other folks. Another extra for phones is that they use free navi software, while most GPS units require subscription services for maps and other services.

[via google news]

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