Half of those using stand-alone GPS equipment have been sent down the wrong road thanks to out of date or inaccurate information, though not all of them directly into a river.
TeleNav, who make software for GPS-equipped phone handsets, hired survey-company Zoomerang to poll 500 users of stand-alone GPS equipment. Half of those polled reported getting the wrong directions, with almost as many complaining of inaccurate business information.
The problem seems to stem from outdated or inaccurate information, rather than any failure of the positioning technology.
Even where stand-alone systems can be updated, though removable media or connection to a PC, it seems that most users don't bother: giving a system integrated into a phone a distinct advantage.
TeleNav claims that updates for such systems are free; though operator's network charged may belie that. They do have a point about utilising social-networks to provide up-to-date information, which could prove useful depending on the quality of the society providing the network.
Right now most GPS systems in Europe are stand-alone, with GPS on phones being an occasionally-useful novelty: offering free updates won't change how people consider GPS, but if anyone can deliver on the social networking potential then stand-along equipment might quickly start to look dated.®