Does the iOS operating system know the phone's location even if one could turn off the iPhone's built-in GPS module or if it was broken?
What I understand
I understand that the mobile phone provider knows where my phone is located by using for example three cell towers and pinpointing the phone's location.
I also understand that iOS can read the phone's location from the built-in GPS module and provide the GPS data as a software-service to the installed apps that are interested in it.
What I don't understand
What I don't understand is: does iOS, the operating system, know what the phone's location is even if the built-in GPS module was broken?
Does the cell tower transmit its position to the phone which is connecting to it? Can the phone or the phone's operating system respectively figure out where it is soley with the communication its performing with the connected cell tower or cell towers?
I am a regular iPhone user and have no knowledge of iOS programming or mobilephone-to-celltower communication protocols.
Please let me know if the GIS StackExchange is the wrong StackExchange site to ask this question. After reading the "What topics can I ask about here?"-page, it didn't seem to be the wrong place.
Don't know whether this matters to answer the question, but if it does, let's take these versions:
Is the following correct?
Each cell tower has a globally unique ID (cell ID). So the phone itself can find out what towers are in range and what the signal strength to each tower is.
Then that data is sent by iOS to some Apple server which in turn can use a database with cell tower positions and signal strengths like the one provided for example by Skyhook Wireless do some additional calculation and send the calculated GPS postion of the phone back to the phone where it can be used.
Can anybody confirm that this is correct?