Sales in GPS-enabled mobile telephones are expected to slow in 2009, but still show year-to-year growth according to the latest report from ABI Research.

The market research firm's latest study, "GPS-Enabled Handsets," projects that global handset shipments will drop by 4 to 5 percent in 2009, but still climb to 240 million units, or an increase of 6.4 percent over 2008 sales figures.

Driven by increasing demand for smartphones, GPS chipsets will be included in most of these multifunction telephones, with nine of of ten smartphones containing GPS integrated circuits (ICs) by 2014 compared to one of of three in 2008. ABI Research Senior Analyst George Perros explains that "falling component prices and increasing consumer awareness of handset location capabilities will keep demand for GPS-enabled phones healthy, in spite of the slumping global economic picture." He adds that "as the quality of positioning technology in handsets improves and the cost of including it declines, GPS location technology will approach the status of a standard device feature."