China: Over 70 percent of GPS navigation devices in the Chinese market failed to pass a recent sample inspection carried out by experts, Chinese media reported. Out of a total of 18 different GPS devices, produced by 13 major firms, only 5 devices produced by three different factories, have passed the inspection and are deemed fit for use. The pass rate was below 30 percent.
According to the report, the 54th Research Institute of China Electronics Technology Group Corporation carried out the sample test of GPS navigation devices, in accordance with the General Specification for In-Vehicle GPS Navigation System and Certification Rules for Satellite Navigation Devices, between October 2011 and February 2012 across 19 regions of the country.
Among the 18 different types of device, 17 failed to locate a particular position, or were unable to find a path to a specified location. Some devices used outdated map data that was first published ten years ago. The amount of problems concerning GPS navigation devices was much greater than initially expected, especially in relation to data inaccuracy, said the panel’s experts.
“A low concentration within the industry is the major cause of the problem,” said Lu Renbo, Deputy Secretary-General of the China Electronic Chamber of Commerce. The market for GPS navigation devices is in chaos, with many individual brands and various kinds of devices available; within the Chinese market, there is no pillar brand to speak of.
The inspection also revealed the wide gap in the price range of GPS devices, ranging from as low as CNY 500 (USD 79 USD) and in some cases exceeding CNY 10,000 (USD 1587).
According to consumer feedback, most low-end devices are problematic. Hardware failure often occurs in devices costing between CNY 1000 and 2000.