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Big increase in people using phones as sat navs

iPhone app CoPilot - part of a growing trend
iPhone app CoPilot - part of a growing trend
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It's hardly shocking news, but ComScore figures have shown an 86 per cent increase in the use of phones for navigation in the UK.

With phones increasingly coming with GPS chips and mapping services like Google Maps and Ovi Maps, the rise of mobile phones as satellite navigation devices is clearly on the rise.

The UK market had the highest growth rate in the so called EU5, UK, France, Germany, Spain and Italy, which had an average increase of 68 per cent, and has overtaken Italy in the numbers of mobile maps users.

Car use up

"Among those who accessed maps via their mobile devices for the three month period ending February 2010, most (68.2 percent) accessed those services in a car or other vehicle," detailed ComScore.

"35.3 percent of the total users accessed the services while using public transport; and 27 percent did so while walking, running or cycling. "

This rise will be of substantial concern to makers of standalone sat navs, who still insist that many people want a separate device rather than using their phones.

A-GPS choices

"The higher incidence of A-GPS usage in cars suggests that the superior speed and precision in these devices are being used for more than just identifying locations – they are being used as full in-car navigation systems," says comScore Senior Analyst, Alistair Hill.

"That these services offer similar functionality to premium services without the significant price-tag has certainly contributed to their early success.

"Mobile mapping services also have potential for integration with other location aware services, such as mobile social networking applications that provide links to friends and insights on surroundings and, subsequently, offer great promise for the location-based advertising market."

So is the writing on the wall for standalone sat navs?

ComScore via Engadget

Patrick Goss
Patrick Goss

Patrick Goss is the ex-Editor in Chief of TechRadar. Patrick was a passionate and experienced journalist, and he has been lucky enough to work on some of the finest online properties on the planet, building audiences everywhere and establishing himself at the forefront of digital content.  After a long stint as the boss at TechRadar, Patrick has now moved on to a role with Apple, where he is the Managing Editor for the App Store in the UK.