October 23, 2007

Consumers want Mobile Phone GPS

TeleAtlas announced results of a consumer study that further backs what you may already suspect, Mobile Phone navigation is going to be in high demand. The question though is if people want to pay for it. If you are here at GPSLodge.com, then you are interested in navigation and you probably “get” the benefits of using a navigation system. The study finds that a whole lot of other people do, as 84% of those surveyed thought that a GPS navigation on the phone thought that it was a good idea. Interestingly though among those respondents who already have a navigation system, a majority would not want to use the phone to replace the standalone device.

There appears to be some interest in a fee based model, but also there are indications that an ad supported model would be better for many. So, when Nokia goes and buys a mobile phone ad service, I think they might just be doing the right thing.

More information after the jump…

Tele Atlas announced findings of the recent Tele Atlas Wireless GPS Study, which revealed the vast majority (84 percent) of consumers surveyed view built-in GPS as a valuable feature for their mobile phone. In addition, nearly 75 percent want to use the device to find points of interest (POIs) or other information about their surroundings. The company conducted the study in conjunction with global market research firm Synovate to monitor consumer interest in using mobile phones for navigation and other LBS applications, as well as attitudes toward paying for such services.

With an expanding roster of industry-leading wireless partners including Google Maps for Mobile, Handmark, Loopt, Research In Motion (RIM), TeleCommunications Systems (TCS), TeleNav, uLocate - WHERE, Wayfinder and @road using Tele Atlas' digital map data and content, the company maintains a strong position in wireless, focused on helping partners deliver map-based products that help an increasingly mobile population negotiate the world with a greater degree of knowledge, convenience and safety.

"GPS is enabling and improving virtually every type of application, and we're excited that our partners leverage our map data and content to fuel the creation of innovative offerings that benefit everyone from consumers to the Fortune 500," said Darren Koenig, wireless market director for Tele Atlas. "The results of Tele Atlas' Wireless GPS Study confirm that users strongly desire GPS functionality in their devices and that they recognize that GPS applications can provide them with valuable, dynamic content; offering these services can serve as a key market differentiator for carriers, device manufacturers and application developers."

The Tele Atlas Wireless GPS Study polled U.S. mobile phone users identified as "technically advanced" consumers that possess a portable MP3 player, a digital camera with at least two million pixels, cell phone with color screen and home access to broadband Internet. Built-in GPS was ranked as the second most important feature for all respondents, preceded only by a digital camera. Survey respondents consistently ranked built-in GPS as a more important "must have" and "nice to have" feature than Internet access, MP3 players, games, TV content, videos and movies.

According to the study, the majority of existing navigation system users would not replace their current system after the acquisition of such a GPS- enabled cell phone; rather, users would leverage both systems. The study also indicated:

-- Mobile consumers want mobile personal navigation and information: Seventy-three percent of respondents want personal navigation and routing information; 72 percent are interested in information regarding their surroundings and local points of interest (POIs), and 68 percent want access to their current location via a detailed map.

-- There is market demand for LBS and "locator" services: Of note, a significant 84 percent of respondents expressed interest in "child locator" services that would show a detailed route to where their child is currently, and 47 percent expressed interest in "friend locator" services.

-- A healthy willingness for subscribers to pay for such services: Approximately 74 percent of respondents with a minor child indicated an acceptance of monthly fees for "child locator" offerings, and nearly 40 percent of respondents indicated wiliness to pay for "friend locator" offerings. Of note, respondents expressed heightened interest for such offerings if provided via ad-sponsored models.

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Posted by Scott Martin at October 23, 2007 6:16 AM

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