Apple GPS

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by carlgo, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. carlgo macrumors 68000

    Dec 29, 2006
    Monterey CA
    Apple needs to come up with new product ideas or die, like a shark has to keep swimming. So, as an Apple fan, and stock holder (ouch), here is a not-new idea: GPS.

    Have been looking at portable gps devices. They are around 3.5-4.5", attach to the windshield by suction cups or sit on the dash with beanbag things. Power comes from rechargeable batteries and a cigarette lighter plug.

    Prices are all over the place, from under $200 to $700 or so, street.

    There are many devices and many support sites and forums, as well as the usual entertaining Amazon customer ratings. My eyes hurt from reading so much. Like any electronic product there are fans of the various brands, although it doesn't seem like the owners are invested so personally as computer or camera owners are.

    The main complaints people have seem to be over the map and points-of-interest content (POIs are gas stations, restaurants, etc).

    This content is often out of date, as one might expect, but there are also a lot of complaints about downloading software, map and POI updates. The GPS companies have poor download technology, nothing to download anyway in some cases, very poor customer support, uninformative web sites and all in all seem to not know what to do after they engineer the actual unit.

    Mac support is spotty. Actually, you had better have the recommended Windows version as well because it is all mostly a pain. This per the forums, which as we all know tend to be populated by people with a complaint or two.

    However, it is clear that although GPS systems have been out for a while, there is room for improvement in the interface and in keeping the maps up to date.

    Apple could team with Google Maps to come out with a very nice unit that could easily be updated with new maps and specialized maps as well (there are detailed maps of metropolitan areas, waterways, etc, as well as of other countries, maritime, fleet usage and so on). These are extra cost, some reasonable, some shockingly expensive. In any case, they could be sold through iTunes, updated wirelessly maybe, and be the choice for those wanting a better unit.

    Apple has supposedly been talking to car companies, and VW, about Apple interfaces. If so, I'm sure that integrated automotive GPS systems have been investigated.

    Adding the portable would increase the potential customer base.

    And, there are the hiking units, small cell-sized units with topographic maps so you can hike around and find geocaches, or maybe just pretend they you would otherwise get lost in the local park. I always wanted this feature on the iPhone (real GPS and a real compass).

    There is at least one combo car and hiking unit.

    Or, just put all the GPS stuff in the phone/touch and transmit the info to a bigger screen on the dash. Of course, this could lead to other things...

    The technology for all of this is mature. No need to reinvent the wheel. It would "only" be a matter of packaging and setting up the software distribution. It would not require a huge investment in money or manpower.

    I vote for it.
  2. Stampyhead macrumors 68020


    Sep 3, 2004
    London, UK
    Meh, they could. I wouldn't buy it though. I have no need for a GPS. As far as coming out with new products, didn't Apple just release a new laptop at Macworld? Many people believe they are already spreading themselves thin, with their forays into the music, movie and mobile phone arenas. Another new direction within the company could only make things thinner.
  3. eric55lv Guest


    Aug 5, 2007
    Las Vegas,NV
    Yeah but they did a lot of new products 90s like digital cameras and pdas and it made :apple: crash
  4. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    If they ever do anything with a real GPS, it will be a part of the iPhone, and possibly the iPod touch too.

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