Global Positioning System navigation shows greatest potential as next "breakout" wireless handset application for Americans, according to new Ipsos survey

Interest in GPS Shows Trend of Demand for Functional Features Outweighs Entertainment Options

NEW YORK, NY, Sept. 28, 2005 - Ipsos Insight released research today which suggests that Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation could become the next "breakout" cell phone feature. As part of a wider survey of more than 1,000 U.S. adults on technology and communications trends, nearly 9 in 10 (86 percent) of 171 users of mobile devices that offer visual display screens say that having a GPS navigation feature would be either "very important" or "nice to have" on the next handset they purchase.

The response to GPS followed closely behind email, text messaging, and camera features, also considered utilitarian features, and greatly exceeded responses of demand for cell phone capabilities for watching TV (42 percent), downloading video (38 percent), and watching movies (33 percent).

Todd Board, Senior Vice President of the Ipsos Insight Technology & Communications practice, said: "The emergence of GPS as a benefit of next- generation mobile devices has been largely overlooked as marketers have been focusing on entertainment-based services. Looking at the previous success of functional capabilities like email and Internet access on mobile devices, GPS is an obvious choice."

One potential GPS application, Board said, could be designed for anxious, security-minded parents. "We're seeing more focus on adaptations of cell phones specifically for the pre-teen market, with various 'one-button' contact and security features. Certainly GPS could play well there," he noted.

The survey result showing that a memory card feature is "very important" or "nice to have" (82 percent) also supports a consumer trend toward functionality. Added Board: "This points to significant potential for GPS to emerge as a valued and commonly used handset feature as it becomes more available."

Board noted: "What's particularly striking about this level of stated importance is that only 1 in 10 of these fairly advanced users currently use GPS on their handsets—it isn't widely available. While the Ipsos study identified a very clear relationship between importance of various features and their current level of use, GPS stood out in being much more important than currently used. This points to significant potential for GPS to emerge as a valued and commonly used handset feature as it becomes more available."

Board acknowledged that there is preliminary evidence of pent-up demand for more attention-getting content applications on next-generation mobile devices, such as video and radio related content on cell phones.

"Though these are still early days, and more rigorous assessment is needed to generate a precise forecast, we see some willingness to pay between $5 and up to $10 a month for digital content on mobile devices," he said. "That's not unreasonable, given that some users are paying up to $3 just for a ring tone, so of course that's why these content applications get plenty of industry attention. The question to keep asking is ‘how large is that market?'"


Data for this study were collected through an Internet-based sampling and data collection methodology using the Ipsos U.S. Internet Panel, and accurately reflects the online population (18 years and older).

A total of N=1,044 respondents completed the online questionnaire between August 23 and August 28, 2005. With a total sample size of n= 1,044 respondents, one can say with 95% certainty that the results are accurate to within +/- 3.03 percentage points.

About Ipsos

Ipsos is a leading global survey-based market research company, owned and managed by research professionals. Ipsos helps interpret, simulate, and anticipate the needs and responses of consumers, customers, and citizens around the world.

Member companies assess market potential and interpret market trends. They develop and build brands. They help clients build long-term relationships with their customers. They test advertising and study audience responses to various media. They measure public opinion around the globe.

Ipsos member companies offer expertise in advertising, customer loyalty, marketing, media, and public affairs research, as well as forecasting, modeling, and consulting. Ipsos has a full line of custom, syndicated, omnibus, panel, and online research products and services, guided by industry experts and bolstered by advanced analytics and methodologies. The company was founded in 1975 and has been publicly traded since 1999. In 2004, Ipsos generated global revenues of €605.6 million ($752.8 million U.S.). Visit to learn more about Ipsos' offerings and capabilities.

About Ipsos Insight

Ipsos Insight, the flagship marketing research division of Ipsos in the U.S., has industry specialists serving companies in the following sectors: consumer products; technology and communications; health and pharmaceuticals; financial services; agrifood; energy and utilities; and lottery and gaming.

Ipsos Insight provides custom and tracking research services to domestic clients, as well as U.S.-based multinationals. It offers concept and product testing, package testing, attitude and usage studies, omnibuses, tracking systems, brand equity, price optimization, segmentation, marketing models, advanced analytics, and global research. Ipsos Insight is an Ipsos company, a leading global survey-based market research group. To learn more, please visit

Todd Board
Senior Vice President, Technology & Communications Division
Ipsos Insight
tel: 415.597.4013

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