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Trends Study Reveals High Consumer Interest in Wireless Navigation in China and Thailand
71% of respondents in China wanted GPS navigation in their phone.
Tele Atlas has announced findings of the recent Tele Atlas Navigation Trends Study, which revealed the vast majority of consumers surveyed in China and Thailand are interested in location-based services (LBS) and GPS navigation offerings on their cell phones. Additionally, a high percentage of current GPS device users (62% in China and 46% in Thailand) primarily rely on their navigation system to find their way, leveraging mapping web sites as a secondary option. Tele Atlas conducted the study to monitor consumer interest in and knowledge of using digital maps and personal navigation devices and applications and a range of navigation content features.

“GPS is enabling and improving virtually every type of application. Accurate map information is particularly vital in high growth areas experiencing constant change, and we’re excited that our partners leverage our map data and content to fuel the creation of innovative offerings that benefit consumers around the world,” said Cemil Seber, vice president of global business planning, Tele Atlas. “The results of Tele Atlas’ Navigation Trends Study confirm that there is a considerable opportunity for the industry to deliver compelling, dynamic LBS and GPS services to consumers across all mediums – on cell phones, personal navigation devices, in vehicles or via the Internet.”

The Tele Atlas Navigation Trends Study polled consumers in China and Thailand identified as current GPS navigation system users or those interested in learning about digital map applications. Results of the study indicate that mapping web sites are the most frequently used source of directions for general consumers seeking help to find their way to a particular destination. Notably, among respondents, built-in GPS navigation was consistently ranked as a highly preferred advanced function on cell phones, ranked as the second most important feature for respondents in China, following only an MP3-player, and preceded in Thailand only by Internet access, MP3-player and a photo camera. GPS functionality was ranked ahead of e-mail, radio, TV, games and movies in both markets.

According to the study, consumers already possess considerable awareness of digital map applications, and findings revealed a very high interest for LBS and GPS navigation on cell phones and wireless devices. A considerable percentage of respondents who do not yet have a GPS system (71% in China and 65% in Thailand) expressed interest in using their cell phone for GPS navigation. Markedly, the cell phone was indicated as the most preferred GPS navigation system form factor by nearly 50% of this group of respondents in both China and Thailand; embedded in-car systems were preferred by 30% and portable navigation devices (PNDs) by 20%.

The study also indicated:

* There is market demand for real time traffic services: A significant percentage of current GPS device users (86% in China and 80% in Thailand) indicate interest for real time traffic incidence services as a key component of digital map offerings.

* High market potential for map update products: With a majority of current GPS device users surveyed (62% in China and 46% in Thailand) depending primarily on their devices for map information, along with a majority of these users (90% in China and 60% in Thailand) expressing that they believe the maps are accurate for the first year after their purchase, there is notable market opportunity for map update products.
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