“If there’s anything the iPhone has lacked compared with other phones in its class, it has been high-speed connectivity and the ability to determine its location accurately. Apple will address the first shortcoming in a matter of days, when it unveils the second version of the year-old iPhone on June 9,” Arik Hesseldahl writes for BusinessWeek
“I’m hoping Apple also tackles No. 2—by including support for Global Positioning System navigation. For one thing, most of the handsets in the iPhone’s peer group contain GPS chips by default,” Hesseldahl writes. “What’s more, navigation applications can make a lot of money for carriers, and by extension, Apple, which splits service revenue with AT&T, its partner in the U.S. A survey last year by Nielsen Mobile found that navigation applications were second only to games as the most popular downloadable wireless application.”
“The iPhone currently employs a system [that] determines its position in part by using the nearest cell towers, using technology from Google. It also fixes its location based on Wi-Fi access points using another technology from Skyhook Wireless,” Hesseldahl explains. “The result is adequate for the casual pedestrian user, and will even work for basic driving directions… till, the accuracy of iPhone’s location services is hit-or-miss. It’s not unusual for Google Maps on the iPhone to show you a block or two away from where you actually are. Sometimes it will put you within 100 feet. Any civilian-grade GPS receiver worth having should be able to pinpoint your location to within 10 feet.”
“So is GPS on the way or not? …My money’s on GPS being included in version 2. But even if it’s not, there’s a strong case for including it in the third version, likely to be released sometime in 2009. Adding GPS would give the iPhone an indisputable grand-slam lineup of features: navigation along with best-in-class music and video, Web browsing, and voice and data communications,” Hesseldahl writes.
More in the full article here.