Russia surprised as Apple uses Glonass in new iPhone

Oct 20, 2011
An Apple Store customer looks at the new Apple iPhone 4Gs on October 14 in San Francisco, California. The secret is out and making Russia proud: pop culture and geek tech icon Apple has picked Russia's Glonass navigation system to run alongside GPS in its iPhone 4S models that hit stores this month.

The secret is out and making Russia proud: pop culture and geek tech icon Apple has picked Russia's Glonass navigation system to run alongside GPS in its iPhone 4S models that hit stores this month.

The news was not exactly hidden by the California-based firm. A scan through the "specs" page on the Apple website shows Glonass sitting conspicuously next to GPS in the global positioning column.

But the news has created a sensation on the Russian Internet and made the front page of the respected Vedomosti business daily on Thursday.

"If the iPhone 4S really does have Glonass navigation," the paper said in a disbelieving tone, "this would be the first time the Russian system reached the world market."

It then quoted a company spokesman as saying that the phones became 50 percent more reliable with the Russian invention on board.

Vedomosti said basic Glonass documentation has the same open access as GPS. The basic is also being honed for more precise military use not available to consumers.

The has struggled through many delays and cost overruns that was additionally hurt last year by the loss of three satellites in a botched .

Glonass is less precise than its rival but relies on a different set of satellites that could work in some cities where the US system is less effective.

Explore further: 3D TV may be the victim of negative preconceptions

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Russia plans to launch six satellites

Mar 27, 2007

Russia will add six satellites to its global navigation system, GLONASS, in 2007, a spokesman at Moscow's Research Institute of Space Instrument-Making said.

Recommended for you

3D TV may be the victim of negative preconceptions

41 minutes ago

An academic from Newcastle University, UK, has led a lab-based research, involving 433 viewers of ages from 4 to 82 years, in which participants were asked to watch Toy Story in either 2D or 3D (S3D) and report on their viewing ...

Microsoft unveils Xbox in China as it faces probe

15 hours ago

Microsoft on Wednesday unveiled its Xbox game console in China, the first to enter the market after an official ban 14 years ago, even as it faces a Chinese government probe over business practices.

A smart wristband for nocturnal cyclists

Jul 29, 2014

Five EPFL PhD students have developed a wristband that flashes when the rider reaches out to indicate a turn. Their invention was recognized at a European competition.

Lenovo's smart glasses prototype has battery at neck

Jul 28, 2014

China's PC giant Lenovo last week offered a peek at its Google Glass-competing smart glass prototype, further details of which are to be announced in October. Lenovo's glasses prototype is not an extreme ...

Sapphire talk enlivens guesswork over iPhone 6

Jul 27, 2014

Sapphire screens for the next iPhone? Sapphire is second only to diamond in hardness scratch-proof properties, used in making LEDs, missiles sensors, and on screens for luxury-tier phones. Last year, the ...

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

jmlvu
not rated yet Oct 21, 2011
I found GPS frequently failed in central Mexico(Plus Garmin maps lack any detail). Anyone know why this happens?
Grizzled
not rated yet Oct 27, 2011
GPS (as well as the Russian and budding European systems) depends critically on the signals it needs to get directly from satellites. This obviously means that its performance is subject to visibility and coverage issues. The more (and better) satellites it can "see" from where you are - the better. Apple might have added GLONASS support for exactly this reason - presumably, the Russian system may provide better coverage in some areas within the country where GPS may not be at its best.