IPad with real GPS

IPad with real GPS

Historically, iPads have not had true GPS. The GPS they have goes through a cell phone network, called Assisted GPS. Now I hear that iPads are coming with true GPS. How do I know if a particular iPad has true GPS?

We've ordered Part number MH312LL/A with Verizon iPad non-SIM Card (HH702LL/A)

I think you have misunderstood what "assisted GPS" means. The "assisted" part means that the device first uses it's cellphone signal (or wifi) to make a rough estimate as to where it is. It uses this information to reduce the time it takes to get a fix with the regular GPS signal - i.e., the cellphone/wifi assists the GPS. Without this assistance it can take much longer to get a lock.

Both types of iPad can use location-based services, but only the device with a SIM card has an actual GPS module. The wifi-only device can take a guess at where it is, based on the wifi SSIDs it can see - Apple knows where these are, from other users devices that also had a GPS and reported it previously - or by using a database similar to

GPS is available on iPhone and iPad Wi-Fi + Cellular models

This is a footnote for Global Positioning System (GPS) networks on the Apple Support pages for Location Services…

  • iOS 8:
  • iOS 7:

This page for a Marine Navigation product makes consistent statements, including some clarification of the difference between 'Assisted GPS' and 'True GPS':

And there is some interesting discussion on iFixit: