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ABI: 9.5M Paid GPS Cellphone Users in 2009

London – ABI
Research estimates that the popularity of GPS on cellular phones will jump by
nearly 50 percent next year in North America.

The research firm
estimates the number of paying users of GPS on cellular phones in North America
will climb from 9.5 million in 2009 to 14 million in 2010.

This compares with
an estimated 17 million personal navigation devices (PNDs) that are expected to
sell in North America this year, according to TomTom’s prediction in March.

ABI Research
stated earlier this month it expects that 26
million people
worldwide will pay for GPS on cellular phones in 2010 based
on smartphone growth.

Practice director
Dominique Bonte said, “The most significant driver for the uptake of handset
navigation is expected to come from the iPhone, following Apple’s decision to
finally enable turn-by-turn navigation on its latest 3.0 platform version.”
Software from AT&T/Telenav, and Networks In Motion is already available
from the iPhone App Store, with Navigon
and TomTom solutions expected soon

One barrier to
adoption however is that true turn-by-turn directions still carry high monthly
subscription fees, typically amounting to $120 per year. 

TomTom and Navigon
are expected to offer their apps for a flat fee to be announced.

Bonte said, “Free
ad-funded navigation is one possible way forward.”