BusinessWeek has an article titled "The Paperless Map is the Killer App" that offers a good summary on the growing demand for maps and navigation services on cellphones and PDAs:
"The number of navigation-ready cell phones will hit 162 million this year, or more than seven times the number of such devices sold for use in cars or other nonphone gadgets, says researcher iSuppli.
You only have to scan phone company ads to see how they are touting navigational features."
Even though I own hand-held GPS devices, I'm finding it a hassle to carry the gizmo with it's charger and cords, on the occasional need for directions.
The question is how long will the carriers be able to charge an additional subscription fee for navigation services on the phone.
Especially when you consider how aggressive Google and Yahoo! to a lesser extent, have been in pushing their online map services to cellphones and PDAs.
These days, unless the carrier explicitly shuts down the GPS function already built-in to the hand-set (as Verizon's done with the Blackberry 8830...that's EVIL, Verizon), Google Maps can in many cases offer basic navigation services right off the chip.
Yet another reason why Google's assault on the vertical wireless carriers monopolies (see Techmeme today), is something the mainstream user should be rooting for every day. How good it is for the Google shareholder though, remains an open question.