Harshdeep 2.0

December 12, 2006

Integrated GPS on Nokia phones

Filed under: Mobile — harshdeep @ 7:27 pm

I officially stopped programming for mobile devices, Symbian in particular, over an year ago. Since Nokia is the strongest proponent of Symbian, the single biggest factor for Symbian’s popularity, I used to keep an eye on everything that it was doing at that time.

But recently, I think I’ve started losing touch. I missed an important announcement by Nokia. It’s next N-Series phone, N95, will have integrated GPS. This is a big step. I strongly believe that GPS is going to be as ubiquitous on phones as cameras are today.

Now, I know this is not a first. HP iPaqs have had GPS for ages, not to mention phones from Mitac, Garmin, Motorola and a whole lot of bluetooth-based standalone GPS receivers. But the number of such phones sold is still limited. Nokia, being the biggest phone company, has the potential to push GPS phones to a much larger set of consumers. And since it’s going to be on Symbian, developers will have a platform with large enough user base to develop location aware applications for.

A lot of location-based services need a critical mass of consumers owning such devices for them to catch on, for example, location-based blogging. I think this is the right step forward from Nokia, and should actually have been taken much earlier. But all is not rosy. N95 is priced at $799. For GPS to catch on for purposes other than navigation, it has to be available on lower range cell phones. I’m sure Nokia is at it.



  1. Prices will come down. Nokia has this record of launching all their new offerings at unbelievably high prices, and then settling down at the right price in six to eight months.

    Its a matter of time, when they start shipping GPS in lower end smartphones as well. I think they are just gauging the market in their own ways.

    Comment by Mayank — December 22, 2006 @ 6:18 am

  2. The GPS in our cellular phones is turning into innevitable complement which gives the product one step further.

    Comment by Cara Fletcher — March 19, 2007 @ 8:43 pm

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