Smartphones Continue to Threaten GPS Device Usage

    June 26, 2010
    Chris Crum

comScore has released some numbers about smartphone and feature phone browser and app usage, as it relates to map access and mobile navigation in the U.S. These numbers are based on a study, which found  14% of mobile users in the U.S. accessed maps on their devices in April, as the mobile map audience reached 33.5 million users, a 44% increase from last year.

More mobile users are also now accessing maps via apps as opposed to the browser, the study found.

"People are increasingly turning to their mobile phone for maps and directions when on the go," says comScore SVP of mobile, Mark Donovan. "With summer travel season upon us, we expect even more mobile users to access both maps and location-based local search to help them navigate and find geographically relevant information."

Here are a few charts worth looking at:

comScore Smartphone Navigation numbers

"87 percent of mobile navigation users are accessing maps and directions while driving," notes Donovan. "Clearly indicating that the rising sophistication of smartphones poses a challenge to dedicated GPS systems."

I’d say the rising popularity of smartphones will contribute to that quite a bit as well. It will be quite interesting to see what these numbers look like a year from now. More stats from the study can be found here.