The iPhone 4S has an improved GPS system with GLONASS support
According to Apple’s recently updated technical specification page, the iPhone 4S has an enhanced GPS system with support for GLONASS. What is GLONASS and what does it actually mean to us in the real world?
GLONASS stands for Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema or Global Navigation Satellite System.
Globalnaya Navigazionnaya Sputnikovaya Sistema or Global Navigation Satellite System, is a radio-based satellite navigation system operated for the Russian government by the Russian Space Forces. It is an alternative and complement to the United States' Global Positioning System (GPS), the Chinese Compass navigation system and the planned Galileo positioning system of the European Union.
GLONASS has around 24 satellites worldwide and when these work alongside the standard 31 GPS satellites, your GPS accuracy and fix speed can be greatly enhanced. We are not sure if Apple is using the systems in tandem to provide this extra accuracy and speed. It may just be that in order to sell the iPhone 4S in Russia it had to be made available. Either way, it is something you can brag to your friends about!