Big increase in people using phones as sat navs

Does ComScore data put the writing on the wall?

iPhone app CoPilot   part of a growing trend

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