El Segundo, Calif. - iSuppli said the number of smartphones in use for turn-by-turn GPS directions will surpass the number of personal navigation devices (PNDs) in use in the U.S. in the year 2013.
During that year, 43 million smartphones will be in use for turn-by-turn directions in the U.S., compared with 41 million PNDs.
iSuppli said, "The days of supremacy for the PND in the global navigation market are coming to an end." On a worldwide basis, 305 million smartphones will be used for turn-by-turn GPS navigation in 2014, compared with 128 million PNDs. This year, however, PND use is still paramount with 114 million PNDs in use worldwide, compared with turn-by-turn GPS on 57.8 million smartphones, said iSuppli.
"Previously, smartphones were not seen as a threat to the dominance of PNDs due to mobile handsets' poor battery life, unclear pricing structures and inferior interface," said Danny Kim, global location-based service analyst for iSuppli. "However, as smartphone design moves forward, many of these issues have been or will be resolved."
iSuppli believes that in 2011 nearly all smartphones shipped will include built-in GPS.
"High-profile" navigation applications for the iPhone from TomTom and Navigon are also contributing to smartphone GPS usage. Apple now has eight navigation applications for the iPhone, and iSuppli expects iPhone navigation users will increase to 28 million in 2013, up from just 2 million in 2009.
By contrast, the number of TomTom and Garmin PNDs in use (assuming PNDs have a three-year lifespan) will not significantly change between 2009 and 2013. Any new growth in PND shipments is likely to come from the Asia-Pacific region, Kim said.