Originally Posted by lancelot9898
.....talking to the apple folks there is nothing in their product line that has this capability other than using wi fi which is useless off shore........
Given how long the iPad has been out, I'm truly amazed that this confusion persists. As noted, you do not require cell or wifi for the built-in gps receiver to operate. Apple simply bundles the cellular broadband capability with the gps receiver in their higher end model. You do need to buy the cellular capable model, which I find most likely what the rep told you, and that confuses people. You do not need to use wifi or cell or even purchase a contract for the gps to fully function.
However, without cell contact or wifi, it may take a minute or so for the gps reciever to determine it's initial location. That's because a wifi or cell signal of any kind is good enough to approximate your location on earth and have the receiver focus on the most proximate satellites, rather than go through them all. No reason to roll one's eyes, however. This is what any handheld gps does, although, some will assume your last known location and start checking there.
Our iPad has already been pressed into service as our backup nav in two very critical occasions, when our plotter failed.