Outside of boaters and gadget-fancying hikers, consumers have not been big users of the data beamed down from Global Positioning System satellites.
But ABI Research of Oyster Bay, N.Y., estimates that last year G.P.S. chipsets designed for consumer products were 59 percent of all G.P.S. equipment sales. Edward Rerisi, vice president for research at ABI, said that most of the consumer growth had come from wireless phones that use low cost G.P.S. units to provide their location to emergency services dispatchers. Excluding that use, he estimates that nearly half of all G.P.S. units used by consumers are in vehicle navigation systems.
“Automotive manufacturers want to tap this for all it’s worth,” Mr. Rerisi said. “There’s a lot of profit in these accessories.”
As the devices become more common in automobiles, Mr. Rerisi anticipates there will be more G.P.S.-based consumer products developed.
“For many consumers, in-vehicle navigation system are their first experience of G.P.S.,” he said. “That will help drive demand for the technology in other areas.”
By IAN AUSTEN