EL SEGUNDO, CA -- According to a report issued by iSuppli, a technology industry website, GPS systems are due for a major shift away from dedicated devices to one of many applications found on smartphones and tablets computers.
The report cites this year's Consumer Electronics Show in January in Las Vegas, where a number of tablets designed to serve as mobile navigation devices made an appearance. This shift is due primarily to the explosive sales of smartphones over the past few years. It is estimated that 135 million smartphones with GPS capability will be sold in 2011, along with a significant number of tablet computers like the iPad.
Conversely, the portable navigation device market, iSuppli said, will peak in 2011, with a modest 1.2% growth before heading into decline. This is part of a larger trend in which specialty devices are consistently losing ground to such multi-functioning computing platforms as smartphones.
For operators who have embraced GPS technology as part of their route management toolbox, this latest technological evolution could provide greater functionality at lower costs. For instance, future software may allow for seamless and low-cost integration of off-the-shelf and highly portable GPS systems with other programs, such as time management software.