I don't know about you, but this is something my SatNat says to me a lot. The last five years have been very good for the Satellite Navigation business. Time was, the SatNav add-on to some cars used to cost £2000, but of course today a standalone navigation unit might only be £150, and in fact many phones have the capability to be a SatNav unit, using only add-on software. Really GPS has come into the mainstream, with the growing market allowing economies of scale, and in turn commodity GPS chipsets.
SatNav is only one part of this story, though. Many mobile phones now come with GPS chips inside. Two years ago, you might have had a choice of possibly two phones equipped with GPS, but now it's hard to keep count. Be it Apple, Nokia, Blackberry, every platform seems to have location in mind. This in turn has inspired a whole generation of companies to create location-enabled products; every day there must be a new location story breaking; but just off the top of my head I can name Yahoo FireEagle, Buddycloud, Palringo, Skyhook, Rummble and just launched, Google Latitude.
Location is fast becoming a commodity, and so I'm expecting that 2009 will be the year that a few genuinely useful location services will emerge. In a time of general industry gloom, it seems to me that the infrastructure for location exists, and so to harness it to create some growth is largely question of ideas rather than a big spend.