And now we know why the iPhone didn’t ship with GPS… - Macenstein

And now we know why the iPhone didn’t ship with GPS…

…because it’s frickin’ HUGE!

How fat is it?

This GPS is so fat, when it sits around the iPhone, it sits AROUND the iPhone!
This GPS is so fat, it had to get baptized at Sea World.
This GPS is so fat, it sat on a Nintendo GameCube and it turned into a gameboy.
This GPS is so fat, if you tell it to haul ass, it’s gotta make two trips.

But seriously, it looks great.

Actually, the engineers over at the Part Foundry who have created this GPS module for the iPhone, claim that it is “tiny” (the camera adds 15 pounds, apparently) and the unsightly guts we see now will be packaged in a sleek plastic enclosure by the time it ships in February. I say, don’t bother, it looks right at home on the iPhone as is. 🙂

I’m sure the thing just looks a little bulky because it is tacked on to the relatively thin iPhone. Odds are it’s about as small as a GPS receiver could possibly be made given current technology and the goal of achieving a marketable price point (said to be around $90). The important question is: How well does it work?”, and the answer appears to be “Pretty damn well”. While a far cry from the 3D maps and spoken directions of a Garmin unit, with its one-touch integration with Google Maps, it looks like it does pretty much everything that GPS aficionados wished the iPhone already did. Check out this video.

Ok, a couple more…

This GPS is so fat, the only thing that’s attracted to it is gravity.
This GPS is so fat, when it auditioned for a part in Raiders of the Lost Ark, it got the part of the big Rolling Ball.
This GPS is so fat, it fell into the Grand Canyon….and got stuck!
This GPS is so fat, it wears an asteroid belt.

OK, I’m done. For now.

37 Responses to “And now we know why the iPhone didn’t ship with GPS…”
  1. Leo says:

    Come on! gimme five more!

  2. josh says:

    what are the odds that putting that thing inside a case is going tomake it any smaller?

  3. Frank says:


    This GPS is so fat, the odds that putting it inside a case is going to make it smaller are “its weight” to “one.”

    I’m here all week. Try the veal.

  4. Crashgoggz says:

    There’s a fair chance that when it’s cased up it’ll sit behind the Iphone making it a bit thicker but not much longer, common sense really

  5. Zac says:

    Here’s one:

    This GPS is so fat, it leads the choir at Church’s chicken!

  6. Sam says:

    I’ve got a feeling that this is a prototype on an ASIC. They’re not designed to be tiny like ICs.

  7. Ross says:

    With the profusion of bluetooth GPS receivers about why not just wait until someone releases some software to hook up to one? Then you can carry your bulky GPS somewhere else instead of on the phone?

  8. dan says:

    the n95 has a gps receiver that is much smaller then that.

  9. Mick says:

    The real question here is how much of that GPS module’s circuitry is there to interface with the iPhone’s dock port? Naturally, you wouldn’t need that for an embedded GPS circuit.

  10. jjo says:

    the n82 and the n95 8gb got gps 5 mpx carl zeiss optics xenon flash,
    can record video vga 3fps and they are certainly not fat.. just 17mm thin

  11. SouthSide Jonny says:

    Actually its pretty sweet. They have it prototyped over at parts foundry and the dimensions are about an inch by an inch by a third of an inch. Its all nicely potted up with some slick logos on it. You can actually pre-order it. And yes, I am iPhones bitch so I ordered one.

  12. woosht says:

    anyone who looks at a dev prototype and thinks it’s going to have any resemblance to the production hardware w/r/t size is nuts. Development prototypes are assembled with the intention of being able to get at all the important bits of the GPS unit. Here’s an image of a piece of production hardware to compare:

  13. Detorn says:

    This GPS is so fat the satellites don’t have to move when triangulating to it.

  14. Brau says:

    This GPS is so fat … you’ll get lost just looking around it.

  15. Brau says:

    This GPS is so fat, it has it’s own area code.

  16. Donut says:

    This GPS so fat, when it goes to the movies, it sits next to everyone.

  17. Scotty says:

    Most of the area in the prototype is given over to the antenna, which is the type of antenna used in a USB Mouse GPS unit. In production a much smaller antenna will be used. That huge push switch will also shrink or disappear all together. Prototypes are larger because they must be assembled by hand and sometimes need extra bits to allow for easier testing (like a big ol’ reset switch). In production they can use much smaller (and lighter) components that only a robot can handle installing.

    The GPS was so fat the engineers were afraid to work around it in fear it would suddenly collapse into a black hole and pull them all in with it.

  18. haid says:

    It doesn’t matter if it is fat.
    Make it into a car mount so that you dock it to charge and GPS while you drive.

  19. This is awesome I live in Australia so I can’t get the iPhone here yet but I’m sure from what I’ve heard and have been told Australia is getting a 3G version of the iPhone, so I’m quite content to wait for it to be released here in 2008.

    I’m definitely interested in this gadget.

    – Dwayne Charrington.

  20. perplexed says:

    Enough with the jokes…the reason Apple didn’t release the iPhone with GPS was becase we all will sell our iPhones for the Gen II iPhone that is coming out in May (yeah I said it). $#!+

  21. Jose says:

    Wow that thing makes the iphone look huge. it seems like it would really get in the way, not worth the GPS feature IMHO :/

  22. Ryan says:

    I have a phone much thinner than an iPhone and it has GPS. Thanks for making up some bullshit. But hey, it has the words ‘Apple’ and ‘iPhone’ so it’s certainly going to be front-page news, as far as the readers of digg are concerned.

  23. PENIX says:

    If it’s not IN the phone, then fuck it.

  24. Rick says:

    Same here.. Ryan (post 22) I have a much thinner phone. I have verizon. VZNAVIGATOR. Works nicely. They should come out with an iphone dildo attachment for the i-idiots so they can i-do it themselves.

  25. jimmy mcnugget says:

    So fat the tide comes in when it goes to the beach.

  26. misc heif says:

    This GPS is so fat… that when it beeps people think it’s backing up.

  27. Lame says:

    This blog is so lame, I can’t even think of something to say. Seriously. Get a life.

  28. justin says:

    Verizon’s LG Voyager didn’t seem to have a problem fitting the GPS in without making the phone bulky.

  29. Joshster says:

    Its so fat it needs a gps to find itsel….. oh wait

  30. me says:

    Check out Holux’s GPSlim 240. Take off the battery out of that (as it uses the iPhone one), and you have nothing left. Some GPSr manufacturers know what they’re doing!

  31. Steve Haskayne says:

    unfortunately i will not be happy until i see him driving and it is constantly updating google maps with the location, not just for the start location of my trip. I think this is a long way off being finished yet.

  32. andy says:

    awesome! as an option it would be cool if you could store maps locally on the phone to speed up the interface. gmaps over edge is really slow. most car navigation systems use like 2gb of flash for maps and poi data so i’d totally be willing to give up 2gb for faster mapping and the possibility of rerouting on the fly.

  33. Sebhelyesfarku says:

    The iPhone is a crippled piece of shit for dumbass Mactards and fashion lemmings.

  34. Tyler says:

    It’s so fat it can seat a family of six

  35. Enzo says:

    GPS is wack anyway. New Google Maps Mobile cell phone triangulation is not as accurate, but works great and no extra GPS shit suckin’ power.

  36. Matt says:

    GPS receivers do not have to be big or power-hungry, FYI. Suunto and Casio make very nice GPS-enabled wristwatches. Not a whole lot of mass or battery power in those!

    Hopefully this one is big just because it’s a prototype. It certainly doesn’t need to be that huge.

  37. jas says:

    Where can i buy it??

Leave A Comment


Click here to inquire about making a fortune by advertising your game, gadget, or site on Macenstein.