Mobility apps drive demand for mobile location-based services

Mobility apps are fuelling a growing dependence on mobile location-based services (LBS), according to a new report from Strategy Analytics.

Mobile LBS: Status Check & Platform Assessment says that the growing popularity of taxi-sharing, carpooling and ride-sharing apps, as well as third-party content integration into popular map applications, and the emerging wearables device category, provide opportunities for growth and development in mobile LBS.

This year has seen increasing adoption of smartphone-centric mobility apps, including Uber, Lyft and Didi, and the rise of the location-based augmented reality game Pokémon Go, all of which have provided a boost to the mobile LBS sector.

Strategy Analytics director Nitesh Patel commented: “Mobile location services are benefiting from the shift in demand for urban transport towards on-demand, mobile-centric services, where the smartphone plays an increasingly important role for both journey planning and the administration of these services. Ride-hailing and car-sharing will be further boosted by their integration into major mobile journey planning applications, such as Apple Maps, Google Maps and HERE WeGo, which are evolving into one-stop-shops for journey planning and support.”

According to the report, the race to provide the most up-to-date and accurate maps in real-time is being driven by a combination of the trend towards autonomous driving, and greater consumer dependence on smartphones for journey planning and execution.

For the third year running, location platform HERE has come top in Strategy Analytics’ location platform benchmark study, followed by Google, TomTom and then Apple.

The research firm said that HERE is well placed for future growth opportunities as the mobile location services market continues to evolve.

“HERE’s ownership by car-makers enables it to leverage its strength in the automotive industry across all digital platforms, including mobile,” explained David Kerr, senior vice president at Strategy Analytics. “Google maintains its leadership in business–to-consumer (B2C) LBS applications, as it benefits from preloading on most Android handsets, and is the most widely used map, navigation and local search app. Both Apple and TomTom remain in catch-up mode with TomTom aiming to improve its support of multi-modal routing and navigation, including ramping its coverage of indoor venues in 2017.”


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