My coworkers with standalone Tom Tom brand GPS devices report that they appear to require periodic internet updates to prevent the GPS receiver from become very slow to find the satellites. They didn't initially realize that other brands 'just work' without such bi-weekly visits to the PC.
I wonder if there's some silly patent in their way. Such as storing the almanac data as received from the satellites, thus they might need to download it from the 'net. I dunno, but it's weird.