An independent experiment performed by indoor map maker Micello confirms that the indoor accuracy of the iPhone 4 has actually improved compared to the second generation and 3GS models after Apple dropped Skyhook and Google as its positioning parters.
For the experiment, all models were tested indoors – where positioning technologies often fail to deliver – at three different locations at the Valley Fair Mall in San Jose, California. The results showed that the second generation iPhone was only able to position itself in the vicinity of the mall and that major steps forward have been made with the iPhone 3GS and the iPhone 4 by only being off by approximately five meters.
Besides the iPhone 4 being slightly more accurate than the iPhone 3GS, it mostly showed a significantly lower margin of error. This makes the iPhone 4 more reliable when it comes to shop level accuracy which is of vital importance to companies like Shopkick and MobiQpons and the indoor LBS market in general.
While the results look promising, it is unlikely that the iPhone 4 will perform as good in rural areas where Apple’s wi-fi positioning database might underperform to those of Skyhook and Google. However, by creating their own location database in combination with the Broadcom BCM4750 AGPS chip, Apple has clearly been able to improve both the accuracy and the speed of positioning for the iPhone 4 and that we like.
Check out this presentation about the experiment for more info: