Garmin intends to release its first Android handset in 2H 2009

Big news today from everyone’s favorite nav company turned mobile handset company turned “will it ever release its phone?!” company. We all know Garmin joined the Open Handset Alliance (OHA) earlier this year but word is now trickling around the web pointing to some pretty lofty aspirations in terms of the timing for the company’s virgin Android offering. From Tony An, Garmin’s Asia Pacific Marketing Director:

Garmin will launch Nuvifone, its first GPS-enabled handset, in the Taiwan market in the second quarter of 2009, An noted. Garmin also plans to launch self-developed Android handsets in the second half of 2009, with production to be outsourced

Wow. Garmin looks to be positioning itself as a potential player in the mobile market – if it can ever manage to push a handset out the door, that is. Asus will almost certainly be responsible for production of Garmin’s Android phone as it is contracted to build the Nuvifone and it joined the OHA on the very same day as Garmin. With both Mio and Garmin looking to branch out into mobiles and Dash ditching its stand-alone units, we have to wonder if dedicated navigation boxes will soon be a thing of the past. Either way, Mio and Garmin are currently in a race to release what will likely be very similar handsets and to the victor may go the spoils. Either way, we’ll be looking forward to more info on Garmin’s first Android offering regardless of when it might actually come to market. 2H 2009? We might be lucky if we see the Nuvifone by then.

[Via Phandroid]

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