When tapping into the GPS coordinates of a mobile phone, it can be costly, especially when a company is charged each time someone looks up their location. To combat that, the mobile-social network provider Loopt said it is partnering with a Qualcomm (NSDQ: QCOM) subsidiary, which provides GPS data for a monthly fee. The deal between Loopt and SnapTrack, will let Loopt to get social mapping and other location services without the heavy fees, GigaOm reported. This is obviously a critical step if location-based services are truly going to take off on the mobile phone industry. If it’s too costly to provide location information, GPS will be limited to certain applications, rather than becoming a pervasive technology that can run in the background to deliver ads, find friends, or conduct local searches. Release.
Smartphones are already getting into position to take over the location-based market from portable navigation devices (PND). In a report released today, Canalys VP Chris Jones said: “With GPS being built into the majority of smart phones, and users increasingly being given maps on their phone by default, and multiple reasons to use them, the threat to PND vendors is rising quickly.” Canalys navigation is still seeing strong growth, especially in the North Amercia, where shipments grew nearly 50 percent. However, shipments fell 6 percent in Europe, where Nokia (NYSE: NOK) is the third-largest navigation provider, trailing behind Garmin and TomTom.