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The smartphone killed the camera. Is the GPS unit next?

Smartphones are killing point-and-shoot cameras. What are they doing to GPS systems? Garmin, maker of global positioning devices reports earnings today, and its quarterly results may offer a clue.
 
The year 2008 often gets a bad rap, but for GPS it was the glory days -- around 45 million of the devices were sold globally. This year GPS sales are expected to be less than half that. That's according to Charlie Anderson, an analyst at Dougherty & Company.
 
"That's lower than Apple has sold, in terms of total iPhones, just in the last three months," he says. Anderson says since smartphones started offering GPS, sales of the stand alone GPS devices have declined 15-20 percent a year. Every time a new smartphone rings, a portable GPS dies.

Then there's the auto industry. Steve Koenig is with the Consumer Electronics Association. He says built in navigation in cars is increasingly available and affordable
 
"Technology has become almost as important as miles per gallon when it comes to buying a new car these days," Koenig says.
 
But Anderson says Garmin hasn't lost its way, just changed course. It has diversified by selling GPS watches for runners and navigation systems for planes and boats.
 
 

About the author

Sally Herships is a regular contributor to Marketplace.
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Smartphones have emerged as the most influential tech gadget today. I am pretty sure the GPS in-car storage will no longer be relevant in our daily lives in the near future to come. This is because smartphones already have all the services and applications that we need, thus there is not a need for a repetition of devices which will only incur more money and take up space as well. Even simple devices like calculators and measuring tapes are almost obsolete these days.
Michael Maloney - http://www.supercheapstorage.com.au

My associate almost got a ticket for using his phone as a GPS, in very heavy

It is felt that using cell phones for GPS directions, especially while driving, is not only dumb, but often DANGEROUS, as well often illegal.

JML

I personally use a dedicated GPS on my motorcycle all the time. It's especially useful in areas without cell service. Even in a car I prefer to have a dedicated GPS, or at least a dedicated screen. I find using a phone as a GPS to be a less than ideal and often dangerous user experience, especially when in a car (or on a motorcycle).

Ah, when your phone shows "No Service" your GPS will still work. I, for one, am not ready to toss out my GPS unit just yet. There are still many areas of the country with no cell phone coverage but where a GPS unit works just fine.

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